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Your gift is in the mail. Will it arrive by Christmas?

It's a mad dash for the post office to get cards and gifts to their destinations in time. This year, it's busier than ever.
Credit: MightyBlue - stock.adobe.com
Don't wait until the last minute to put your holiday cards and gifts in the mail!

WASHINGTON — Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's a mad dash for the post office to get cards and packages to their destinations in time. This year, it's expected to be busier than ever.

The holiday season, always the busiest time of year for the United States Postal Service, is seeing more traffic than usual. They tell us more people than ever are sending out cards and gifts this year because of the pandemic.

Bill Sanford, a USPS supervisor, says, "We're easily doubling what we saw at this same time of year as last year, with the pandemic and everybody being kept apart. More people are shopping online, more people are using the mail to stay in touch."

Monday, Dec.14, is expected to be the busiest day of the year. The USPS has increased hours and delivery windows to try to keep up, with early morning post office hours for people trying to get their mailing done.

And packaging matters! Sanford recommends sturdy boxes, well addressed, clear on the addressing.

Key dates from the postal service:

Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before December 25. That's expected, not guaranteed. The earlier you mail, the better.* USPS tracking is available for some services.

Domestic mail/class (excluding Alaska & Hawaii)
USPS Retail Ground® Service
Dec. 15

First-Class Mail® Service
Dec. 18

Priority Mail® Service
Dec. 19

Priority Mail Express® Service
Dec. 23

Domestic mail/class (Alaska and Hawaii)
First-Class Mail® Service
Alaska: Dec. 18
Hawaii: Dec. 15

Priority Mail® Service
Alaska: Dec. 19
Hawaii: Dec. 15

Priority Mail Express® Service
Alaska: Dec. 21
Hawaii: Dec. 21

*Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions, including customs delays. 

Click here for International Mail dates.

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