Christmas is right around the corner and so are the U.S. Postal Service mailing deadlines to have cards and packages arrive to their destinations by Dec. 25.
For first class mail and priority mail, the cut-off date is Dec. 21. Parcel post is Dec. 16 and express mail is Dec. 23.
The deadline for guaranteeing arrival of packages and letters to APO (or military overseas) addresses was mostly on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. Express mail military service still has a cut-off date of Dec. 18.
Dates for international letters and packages vary depending on the location and type of service. For first class mail to Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East, the cut off date was Dec. 11. For Central and South America it was Dec. 4. Priority, Express, and Global Express Guaranteed have later cut off dates ranging from Dec. 18 to Dec. 22.
Station Manager Johnette Smith said that Olde Town postal branch seems to be busier this year than last, especially with packages to the military and overseas.
Another special type of letter that the U.S. Post Office sees this time of year are letters to Santa Claus. As of Thursday, at least 40 had come through the Olde Town branch so far.
"For some reason, right close to Christmas they really roll in," said Smith.
Olde Town branch Supervisor Gidget King explained that because of the U.S.P.S.’s special connection with Santa’s helpers, local carriers are often able to make sure Santa’s responses come back to the right house, even if the letter doesn’t have a return address.