Sending packages to friends and family in other parts of the country can mean long lines this close to the holidays.
That's because the post office delivers nearly 15 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and New Years, and makes nearly one million deliveries per day. "We know we all are going to put in some extra time and some extra hours. Everybody goes above and beyond, we always have," Michelle Feldhacker, Sioux City Postmaster said.
Postmaster Michelle Feldhacker says mid-afternoon is their busiest time, and if there's ever a day to avoid the post office, this coming Monday is supposed to be the busiest day of the year. "So if you really don't have to mail Monday, it might be a good idea. The lines will probably be a little bit longer because everybody will realize this weekend, 'Oh, I've got to get my Christmas gifts off,'" Feldhacker said.
Regular customers say in their experience, having your mail ready to go can make all the difference. "Have the package ready when you come down here, because the lines are fairly long, so just make sure you're ready when you get up to the counter," Scotty Nelson of Sioux City said.
The procrastinator's deadline to get presents delivered by Christmas is December 23rd if you ship Priority Mail Express. First-Class Mail needs to be in by next Friday December 20.
No matter what way you choose to ship your package, the postal workers say the best advice they can give is to think ahead. The lines do get long at this time of year, and they want to make sure your package arrives on time, and in one piece.
"We enjoy this time of year. As you can see in here, it gets a little busy, there is a line. We keep them going through, and we continue to get everybody's packages there, because it's important to them and it's important to us," Feldhacker said.
Feldhacker also says the letters to Santa Claus this time of year are top priority, so make sure to address them clearly, so Saint Nick can get his response back on time.
The Post Office says their deliverers always appreciate a friendly shoveling and salting of the sidewalk near front steps and mailboxes.
That way both your package and the mailman stay safe.
There are some steps you can take at home before you send your packages to keep your mailed goods in good condition.
FedEx in Sioux City says their increased traffic at Christmas time means they process a lot of mail, in very little time. They have some packing tips that can save time when you drop your packages off. That way you can be absolutely sure of safe delivery. Make sure you use a sturdy box, and every open edge of the box should be covered with packaging or duct tape. On the inside of the box, it's smart to cushion your presents with up to two inches of either paper or bubble wrap. When packing several presents into one box, make sure to put some cushioning between the packages.
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