Post Offices across the country are bracing for Tuesday's rush to get cards and gifts to the place they need to be by Christmas. It is predicted that Dec. 17 will be the busiest mailing day of the year.
According to a press release, more than 658 million cards, letters and packages will be mailed on that day. On an average day, only 528 pieces are mailed. During the holidays, the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver a total of 17.9 billion cards, letters and packages from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve.
The service is reminding people to get first class mail in by Dec. 20 in order to have it reach its destination by Dec. 20. After that, priority mail or 2-day mail service will be necessary for most of the country in order to get mail to a destination by Christmas Eve. Mail not mailed by Dec. 22, Express Mail is the only chance to get it there on time. Express Mail can be mailed as late as Christmas Eve at most Post Offices for guaranteed delivery on Christmas Day.
To ensure that your gifts and greetings arrive on time and intact, the Postal Service recommends the following:
- Use complete addresses on your cards, letters and packages, including apartment numbers and suite numbers.
- Use directionals, such as NE and NW and designations such as St., Ave., and Blvd – and always include the ZIP Code. If you’re unsure of the ZIP Code, go to www.usps.com.
- When sending packages, use a sturdy container that is designed for shipping, cushion the contents to prevent movement during transit, include a return address inside the package and seal it, using a tape designed for shipping.