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Post office offers holiday tips

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The U.S. Postal Service is projecting 14.7 billion cards will be delivered from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, with 6 million customers expected to visit post offices nationwide Dec. 16, the busiest mailing day.

Because of the growing popularity of online shopping, the Postal Service expects its competitive package volume to increase by 12 percent to about 420 million packages during the 2013 holiday season.

The Postal Service has suggested several mail-by dates to help customers mail and ship conveniently for the holidays:

Key shipping dates for Dec. 25 arrival:

 

  • by Dec. 2 for International First-Class Mail
  • by Dec. 2 for Priority Mail International
  • by Dec. 10 for Priority Mail Express International
  • by Dec. 10 for APO/FPO First-Class Mail Letters and Cards
  • by Dec. 10 for APO/FPO Priority Mail
  • by Dec. 14 for Standard Post
  • by Dec. 16 for Global Express Guaranteed
  • by Dec. 17 for APO/FPO Priority Mail Express Military Service
  • by Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail
  • by Dec. 21 for Priority Mail
  • by Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express

 

The Postal Service also is offering a number of Forever holiday stamps for customers to choose from, including gingerbread houses, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and a poinsettia.

Holiday stamps can be delivered to any address when ordered through usps.com or by completing a Stamps-By-Mail form available from mail carriers or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24.

As for packing, the Postal Service advises using a strong and sturdy box taping it tightly closed; cushioning contents to protect them during transportation; removing all batteries from electronics; and placing wrapped gift boxes inside a plain, larger box.