Shipping for Christmas? Mailing deadlines draw near

COLUMBIA (WIS) – With less than a week leftuntil Christmas Day, time is running out to ship any letters and packages you'd like toarrive in time for the holiday.

This Wednesday marks the busiest delivery dayof the year for the United States Postal Service, but if you still need to senditems make sure you're aware of the USPS deadlines.

USPS Deadlines for Christmas Delivery

Thursday, December 20th- First Class Mail (Christmas cards, etc.)

Friday, December 21st– Priority Mail

Saturday, December 22nd-Express Mail

Most Midlands post offices open at 9 a.m. andclose at 5 p.m. USPS officials say in some cases they will deliver on ChristmasDay.

To avoid long lines,USPS officials say don't forget you can go online and use "Click and Ship."They say shipping your package electronically will save you 15 percent.

There are also 14 contract postal units inRichland and Lexington Counties, according to USPS officials.Contract units are businesses that also provide post office services like shipping packages and selling stamps. Some ofthe sites include Ace Hardware, Woodhill Storage and some Office Depot stores.

Officials say it's best to have everythingpacked and ready to go, but if you need help there are people who can assistyou at each location. USPS flat rate boxes, priority and expressmailing materials are free of charge. If you need any other packing suppliesthey are available for purchase.

If you plan to send packages through UPS, its website lists Friday, December 21st as the last day to sendbefore Christmas. FedEx says it will take express packages until Saturday,December, 22nd.

Of all the Christmas cards sent during theholiday season, officials say about four out of every ten are addressed to the manin the big red suit. Since Santa is busy making toys with the elves, he hassome special helpers in the North Pole Mail Room who make sure little boys andgirls get a response. You can still send a letteraddressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. It just needs to make it to the mailroom by Friday. If you do send a letter, make sure to include your returnaddress on the envelope.

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