Post Office grows hectic days before Christmas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

It’s only seven days before Christmas and the volumes of cards, letters and packages are beginning to balloon with the countdown to the big day.

Mike Hoy, a supervisor with the United States Postal Service on North Main Street, said the workers there want to make sure your mail flies like an eagle and is delivered on time.


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&uot;Although we have taken extra measures to handle the added volume, we are asking customers to mail early Monday through Friday and on Saturday by noon to expedite service during the last days before Christmas,&uot; Hoy said. &uot;By mailing early in the day, your mail can get ahead of the evening rush. By mailing on Saturday or Sunday, you will beat the Monday rush.&uot;

Hoy is also encouraging customers to call 1-800-ASK-USPS for information on the location of the nearest large Post Offices with extended lobby hours. Customers can also visit the Postal Service web site at for online shipping information. (Click-N-Ship ) postage calculations, Post Office locations, and ZIP Code lookup.

Customers can also obtain stamps where they see &uot;Buy Stamps Here&uot; signage among 17,000 ATMs, supermarkets, drug stores and banks, and also call 1-800-STAMP-24 to order stamps by phone.

While transacting business at the Post Office, here are a few mailing and packaging tips to make things run a little smoothly.

nCustomers can help speed Post Office transactions by providing retail associates with full information on packages, such as requirements for insurance, delivery confirmation and desired time for package arrival.

nWrite, type or print the delivery address neatly.

nAlways use a return address.

nAlways use complete address information, such as AVE., BLVD and ST. Use the apartment or suite number as well as correct directionals, such as N.W. and SW.

nDon’t let an incorrect ZIP Code delay delivery of cards and letters. Local Post Offices and the Postal Service Web site – – offer ZIP Code information.

nAvoid placing bulky items such as photographs, keys, coins, rings, etc, in greeting card or letter-size envelopes these items could be damaged in automated processing.

nSelect a container strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside.

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

nPlain air-popped popcorn, shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts work well for cushioning package contents.

nThe only addressees on packages for mailing should be the delivery and return addresses. Tip: Place a return address label inside the package.

nCarefully pack glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage due to shock. When mailing framed photographs, remove glass and wrap separately.

nPackages that weigh at least one pound must be taken into the Post Office for mailing.

nWhen writing to Santa, be sure to use a return address. Santa may write back. Also, when writing Santa, please don’t place any cookies for Santa or hay for his reindeer as this can foul mail sorting equipment and delay delivery.