Cutoffs to send holiday cards and packages are nearing if you plan to use your local branch of the United States Postal Service.
Many deadlines for sending cards and other items have already lapsed but some options are still available when you use USPS.
Most deadlines for sending packages and cards to military personal were Dec. 10 but packages can be sent by Priority Mail Express Military up until Dec. 17 in most cases to many APO/FPO/DPO addresses.
The postal service recommends using a large Priority Mail flat rate box for those wishing to send packages to members of the military.
“Anyone who sends boxes to those in the service will get a $2 per box discount for military mail being sent APO, FPO, or DPO. The boxes are $14.85,” said Mary Dando, head of U.S. Postal Service Corporate Communications for the Greater Indiana District.
“Military Care Kits” are also available through the postal service. The kits include six boxes in three different sizes, Priority Mail tape, Priority Mail address labels and appropriate customs forms. The kits can be ordered by calling 1-800-610-8734.
For domestic mail, the final day to ship will be Dec. 23 using Priority Mail Express. The cutoff for First Class mail, which includes cards and letters, is Dec. 20.
Dando said that overall the USPS is anticipating a 12 percent increase in the amount of packages it will process and the busiest day of the year is yet to come.
“Monday will be the busiest day for mail and we are anticipating 600 million pieces of mail to be processed and 6 million people will visit their local post office,” said Dando.
On average, during the holiday season 545 million pieces of mail are processed each day but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to the post office to mail their items.
“We have a website, www.usps.com, that gives customers a lot of information. They can also save a trip to the post office by using Click-N-Ship,” said Dando.