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U.S. Postal Service says mail early, mail often for Christmas letters and packages

Mary Pickels
| Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, 8:57 p.m.
The United States Postal Service is selling four new holiday stamps this year, each featuring a beloved Christmas carol.
usps.com
The United States Postal Service is selling four new holiday stamps this year, each featuring a beloved Christmas carol.
Hanukkah stamps again are available this year, one of many special stamps the United States Postal Service makes available each holiday season.
usps.com
Hanukkah stamps again are available this year, one of many special stamps the United States Postal Service makes available each holiday season.
Many stamps return each year, and have become favorites for Christmas mailings, including these 'Holiday Windows.'
usps.com
Many stamps return each year, and have become favorites for Christmas mailings, including these 'Holiday Windows.'
Shown is one of several sample letters the United States Postal Service offers through its 'Letters from Santa' program. Tykes can again receive a letter from the North Pole wishing them personalized greetings this year.
usps.com
Shown is one of several sample letters the United States Postal Service offers through its 'Letters from Santa' program. Tykes can again receive a letter from the North Pole wishing them personalized greetings this year.

Christmas cards and packages going over the river and through the woods, or just across town, should be getting their final seals, bows and stamps on soon.

The U.S. Postal Service is issuing reminders that deadlines are looming if customers want those cards to arrive before Dec. 25, or packages to arrive in time for placement under the tree by Christmas Eve.

This year, the postal service anticipates delivering more than 15 billion pieces of mail during the holiday season, along with 850 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, according to a news release.

The week of Dec. 18 to 24 is expected to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery date, with Dec. 18 anticipated as the busiest day online, with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com. Shoppers can order priority mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free next-day package pickup from their mail carriers.

“The postal service is well prepared to meet our customers' needs during the holiday season, especially as demand for package deliveries continues to grow,” Megan J. Brennan, postmaster general and CEO, says in a release.

Recommended mailing and shipping deadlines range from Dec. 11 to 22, including cards and packages.

New holiday stamps

Holiday stamps always add a bit of cheer to mailing envelopes, red, green or white. Many USPS favorites are again available this year, including Snowy Day, Holiday Windows, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Nativity.

New this year are four Forever stamps featuring images that illustrate the themes of favorite Christmas carols — “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

Familiar lines from each song highlight the individual stamps.

• A lamb reflects the gentle mood of “Silent Night.”

• A sleigh horse dressed in holiday finery represents “Jingle Bells.”

• A child's hopeful monologue with Santa is imagined with “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

• Twinkling lights and holiday cookies set the mood for “Deck the Halls.”

“We're excited to continue one of the postal service's long-standing traditions — celebrating the holidays with new stamps,” USPS brand marketing executive director Christopher Karpenko says in a release.

“This year's selections were inspired by some of America's favorite Christmas carols, sung and adored by children and adults alike since the 18th Century,” he says.

A few mailing tips

• Don't let illegible penmanship or lack of a proper postage delay your deliveries. The postal service advises writing addresses in all capital letters, and don't forget to include a return address.

• Put the finishing touches on that holiday newsletter, get those photo cards ordered, sign and stamp your stacks of well wishes and get those packages wrapped.

• And if the little ones in your household want to get their wish list to the North Pole in time for Santa Claus to respond, deadline for those requests is Dec. 15.

Parents can visit about.usps.com to learn more.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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