HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Christmas time isn't only busy for those of us shopping and wrapping gifts, it's busy for the U.S. Postal Service, too!
At the Downtown Huntsville Post Office, busy would be an understatement. As more people stand in line, more packages are added to the stack to be shipped.
"We'll get over 3,000 packages every day, we may tap out to 4,000," said Downtown Huntsville Station Manager, Richard Lotito.
He adds the next 24 hours are crunch time for his team.
"December 19th, Monday of this year is the busiest mailing day," said Lotito. "December 22nd is the biggest delivery day because all the packages and the letters in the system hit everything by around Thursday."
The team behind the counter and behind closed doors help make the 16 billion pieces they expect to deliver, a little more manageable. Although, they can always use your help, too.
"The more preparation, the more planning the better," said Lotito.
If you're one of the last minute senders, don't worry! The USPS doesn't want you to panic... yet.
"Even if people mailing on Wednesday or Thursday have a good chance, but at that point, the later people wait the more dicey," said Lotito.
Here are some dates of days you are still able to send and receive just in time for Christmas.
- First Class Mail Service: send by December 20, the package will take 1-3 days to be delivered. The USPS says this is ideal for cards and lightweight merchandise.
- Priority Mail Service: send by December 21, the package will take 1-3 days to be delivered. This option includes USPS tracking when you ship online or in-store. The boxes are also a bit more roomy to allow for bigger Christmas presents.
- Priority Mail Express: send by December 23, the package has an overnight delivery guarantee. The postal service says this is the fastest domestic service and available all year long.