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Aaron Pupa (C) waits in line at the customer counter at the Main Post Office on Dec. 19, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.
Monday is the busiest mailing day of the holiday season across the nation. The U.S. Postal Service expects to process more than 658 million pieces of mail. That’s a quarter more than on an average day.
There’s still plenty of time to mail those gifts in time for Christmas delivery, though. Here are some tips that’ll save you a headache or two.
1. Have everything ready to go
When you visit the post office this week, have everything ready to go.
“That’ll save us time,” said Richard Maher, USPS spokesman, Los Angeles. “Be sure and print out the address, nice and legibly, and include all the directionals — apartment numbers, that sort of information. Make sure the ZIP code is correct so we can get it to the right place. And you can check out ZIP codes at USPS.com.”
2. Skip the trip to the post office
Save some fuel and do all your shipping online at USPS.com.
“You can print out package labels with postage and then schedule a free package pick-up where your letter carrier will stop by the next day and pick up that package from your home,” explained Maher.
You can also order postal holiday-themed gifts , including books, puzzles, games and other collectables.
3. Meet the drop-dead deadlines
Last minutes shoppers, you have until Dec. 20 to send first-class mail in time for Christmas delivery. The Postal Service recommends Dec. 21 as the last day to send priority mail items — Dec. 22 for express mail packages.