Billions of cards and packages will be sent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, spreading holiday greetings around the world.
The United States Postal Service reports it will process about 607 million pieces of mail on Monday (Dec. 16), an increase from 528 million pieces of mail it processes on an average day. Stan Logan, Postmaster in Fort Smith, said his mail carriers have been working long hours and on weekends to keep up with the increase in shipping demands.
Pat Cullen, owner of The UPS Store in Fort Smith, estimates his store will do three times more business Monday than usual. He said customers are welcome to bring gifts into the store for his team to properly package for shipping.
"(But if they want to package the gift themself) Make sure you give yourself about two inches of packing on each side of the item," said Cullen. "If it's fragile, you'll want to use bubble wrap and then some fill, probably peanuts."
According to the USPS, Friday (Dec. 20) is last day to ship first class mail domestically and have it arrive by Christmas Eve. Cullen said gifts may be shipped last-minute, but it will pricey.
"You can ship all the way to the 23rd and get it delivered on the 24th, but if you ship a large package next-day air, it's quite expensive, maybe worth more than the gift," Cullen said.
While shipping gift can be expensive, some people say they would not choose the alternative. Nathan Williamson stopped by the post office Monday to ship gifts he picked out especially for his nieces living in Texas.
"I think gift cards are kind of the easy way out," he said. "You can be a little bit more thoughtful and find something you think they'll really like."
Logan said Tuesday (Dec. 17) is the last day to send cards and packages to our service men and women overseas and have them arrive in time for Christmas.