It’s beginning to look like Christmas at the Post Office. And it will really look like Christmas on Monday, Dec. 17, as the U.S. Postal Service anticipates what should be the busiest mailing day of the year.
Postal Service officials predict more than 658 million cards, letters and packages will be mailed on that day, compared to 528 million pieces on an average day. The Postal Service expects to deliver 17.9 billion cards, letters and packages during the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.
The Postal Service also reminds customers that Dec. 20 is the last recommended day to send First-Class Mail, in order to have it reach its destination by Christmas Eve. After Dec. 20, the Postal Service recommends using Priority Mail, a 2-day service to most of the country, and for the ultimate procrastinator, who has not mailed by Dec. 22, the Postal Service recommends using Express Mail, a guaranteed overnight service.
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.