In the early 1900’s, tuberculosis (TB) was the leading cause of death in the world. The first “Christmas Seal” was born in 1903. A Danish postmaster named Einar Holboell created the stickers to help children with TB. Holboell’s Christmas Seals met with immediate success. Four million stickers were sold in the first year. By the end of the second year, the Danes were able to build two hospitals to treat children suffering with TB.
In 1908 Christmas Seals came to Canada. Toronto and Hamilton began Christmas Seal campaigns to build and support TB hospitals. Year by year, other cities across Canada tried the Christmas Seal campaign. Money was raised to build hospitals. People began to see that TB could be controlled. Once the hospitals were built, Christmas Seal funds were used for TB prevention. The seals have paid for millions of Canadians to have chest X-rays or TB tests. As a result, thousands of TB cases were discovered before the disease could spread to others.
In 1927, a national Christmas Seal was started. Today, Christmas Seals are a key fundraiser for The Canadian Lung Association. The money raised is used to support research, programs and services. Celebrating its 104th anniversary this Christmas season, the Christmas Seal continues to help all Canadians to breathe easier.