Deadline for sending Christmas packages

WESTCHESTER, Calif. Saturday, Dec. 20, is the deadline for priority and first-class mail.

United States Postal Service: Holiday Calendar

The post office says it expects to deliver 19 billion cards, letters and packages this holiday season.

If you've got holiday packages to mail, be prepared for some long lines. The U.S. Postal Service is predicting this will be the busiest mailing day of the year.

Those long lines were kept at bay a little bit because of the wet weather Monday. There has been a steady stream of customers coming to post offices all afternoon. All day Monday, folks have been packing up their Christmas gifts, getting those boxed up and ready to be shipped out. Lots of people came in with boxes of holiday cards. Now this was a stress-free environment because all these folks have plenty of time and that's because the deadline for First Class mail to make it to its destination by Christmas Day is December 20. The Express Mail deadline is December 23, and Express Mail will be delivered on Christmas day.

In Los Angeles, post offices were dealing with double the daily average volume of traffic Monday.

"Just for the greater Los Angeles area, and 19 billion nationwide and that begins from Thanksgiving all the way up till Christmas Day," said Sam Booth Jr., US Postal Service Customer Service.

Debbie Larsen was mailing off Christmas cards Monday afternoon. "Amazingly, it's on time this year," said Larsen. "The latest I've sent them out was February 14th."

Bill Edison mailed out 1,000 Christmas cards Monday. "That's half of it -- 2,000. They're not for me, they're for the business," said Edison.

The U.S. Postal Service says that you can avoid a lot of headaches just by going to its Web site.

United States Postal Service: Holiday Calendar

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