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Post office preparing for Christmas rush

An estimated 150 million cards, letters and packages will be delivered every day this holiday season – an anticipated amount that’s up 3 percent from last year.

Monday, December 11, 2000

An estimated 150 million cards, letters and packages will be delivered every day this holiday season – an anticipated amount that’s up 3 percent from last year.

Even with the increase, Ironton Postmaster Kathleen Patrick said last week that not even the Grinch can keep the U.S. Postal Service from its job.

"We just hired new employees, and right now we’re about 95 percent on time," Ms. Patrick said.

In fact, the postal service has teamed up with Universal Studios this holiday season to make sure all Christmas deliveries arrive on time, she added.

Whoville, the city setting for Dr. Seuss’ "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," is the inspiration for the promotional event. Efforts to spread the "Happy Wholidays" word include television and print advertisements, in-store materials to purchase, and a postal service Internet presence with Universal’s "Grinch."

The point is to help people have a happy holiday season while using the nation’s mail system, Ms. Patrick said.

Today marks the peak mail day this year. About 280 million packages are expected to be postmarked, she said.

The second expected peak mail day is Dec. 18, with the busiest delivery days on Dec. 13 and Dec. 20.

Procrastinating holiday shoppers have another thing to be happy about, too.

With Christmas falling on a Monday, the USPS will still be making deliveries on Christmas Eve and Christmas day for Priority mail.

Ms. Patrick does all of the deliveries for the Ironton area on Dec. 25.

"I like for the employees to have the day off and spend Christmas at home," she said.

If your mailing holiday wishes, one tip to make sure your package arrives on time is to make sure the zip code is correct.

Ms. Patrick suggests calling 1-800-275-8777, a phone service that provides zip codes 24 hours a day, or going to the USPS Web site, usps.com.

"You can get everything from zip codes to ordering stocking stuffers using that," she said.

Other tips to avoid some of the hassle of the holidays include using a complete return address or buying stamps online, from postal vending machines or by phone at 1-800-STAMP-24.