Holiday Mail

mail box

The Postal Service said neither rain, sleet, snow nor the holidays will be a problem when it comes to delivering special packages this holiday season.

The Postal Service expects to deliver about 20 billion pieces of mail, packages and other items between now and the end of the year.

The busiest time will be Dec. 16 through Dec. 18.

Just remember to have your packages ready for shipping -- use a strong box, tape it right and use the correct address. Extended Web Coverage

Holiday Mail Tips

  • International Packages: Should be mailed by the week following Thanksgiving and no later than the first week of December to ensure pre-Christmas arrival.

  • Domestic Packages: Those sent by parcel post should be delivered within 7-10 days.

  • Priority Mail: Packages sent after Dec. 14 should be sent Priority Mail which should be delivered within in 2-3 days.

  • Express Mail: Express Mail offers next-day delivery, including Christmas Day, and beginning Dec. 16, is the best way to ensure pre-Christmas delivery of packages.

Addressing Tips

  • Write, type or print the complete address neatly. Make sure to include suffixes such as Ave. Blvd. and St., as well as locators such as N, W, SW.

  • Don’t forget the ZIP code, but if you aren’t sure what it is, don’t guess. Verify the ZIP Code here. Use the four-digit add-on, ZIP+4; hyphenate the ZIP+4.

  • Always use a return address.

  • Always use the two-letter state abbreviations and common abbreviations. View the abbreviations chart.

Packaging Tips

  • Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.

  • Cushion package contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.

  • Stuff glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage due to shock. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

  • Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the package.

  • Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape.

  • Do not sue wrapping paper, string, masking tape or cellophane tape.

  • Put the delivery and return address on one side only of the package.

  • Place a return label inside the package.

  • Take packages that weigh at least one pound into the post office for mailing.

Source: (Unites States Postal Service Web site) contributed to this report.