Billions of cards, letters, and packages sent via USPS this holiday season

Post-Office-Box

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Holiday mailing was steady Monday.

But that doesn’t come as a shock since December 19th is considered the busiest mailing day for the United States Postal Service.

The Postal Service has prepared well for this busy season too.

It’s hired more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help meet customer needs.

Everybody wants to share Christmas wishes and gifts with loved ones for the holidays.

But if you don’t live in the same town, the post office is likely to be where you’ll turn.

Shipping packages with the U.S. Postal Service used to be common for Judy Cazzell.

Cazzell says, “I used to when my kids lived in the U.K., but they’re home and I don’t ship too many boxes now.”

So what does the mother do now? She spreads holiday cheer via Christmas cards.

Cazzell says, “Yeah, I usually send out about 24 to 34 cards a year!”

Cazzell is far from alone.

Roughly 16 billion cards, letters, and packages will be sent this holiday season.

This can mean an uptick in the number of people at your local post office too.

Postmaster Dianna Egold says most customers are in and out in a few minutes.

But there is an easy way to speed up your trip.

She says, “If the customers can come in and already have the packages already taped, and sealed, and labeled, that helps.”

Officials say seven million people will actually do most of their delivering online at USPS.com.

Egold says, “You can always go to USPS.com. It can answer a lot of questions for you on the different ways of mailing and the weights. What can go First Class. What can go Priority. What can go Parcel Post, and that way you already have a lot of those decisions made when you get here.”

The Postmaster says a lot of good information can be found on your mailing receipt as well.

She says, “We put tracking on it now and we don’t charge anything extra. Of course, not first class cards, but anything with an item over 13 ounces, the clerks do put a tracking code on it and they show it on the receipt. And then, of course we want you to do the survey to make sure that you come back and let us know how we can improve your experience with us the next time.”

Egold says while the holiday season is the busiest for them, her employees don’t fret.

She says the time is a welcomed challenge.

Egold says, “For a lot of employees this is our best time that we can shine for the customers. It’s a lot more items coming in and breaking it down. But the carriers all have good attitudes. The clerks all have good attitudes. Everybody is happy, cheerful, and we’re trying to make sure we can get everything home for the customers so they can have their holiday cheer also.”

When approached about the busiest shipping day of the year, Cazzell was surprised to hear she was one of 12 million mailing on the busiest mailing day of the year.

She says, “Oh my gosh! I didn’t realize it was that many today. Well, I’m glad I’m here and I’m ahead of the crowd!”

Postmaster Egold says while today is the busiest mailing day for customers, Wednesday the 21st is the busiest delivering day for mail carriers.

If you have waited until the last minute, you can still get packages sent off in time for Christmas.

USPS Mail-by Dates Include:

  • December 20th – First-Class Mail: Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with deliver in 3 business days or less.
  • December 21st– Priority Mail: Domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days based on where the package is mailed and where it’s being sent, variety of flat-rate options.
  • December 23rd – Priority Mail Express: Fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations. Some restrictions and exceptions apply. Please note, Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed between December 22nd and December 25th.

For more information, visit USPS.com.