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Area post offices brace for holiday mailing season

| Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003, 12:00 p.m.

U.S. Postal Service carriers are rumored to be impervious to rain, sleet and snow, and postal customers aren't likely to be deterred, either.

The busiest day of the year for the postal service was Monday when more than 2.7 million pieces of mail were expected to be handed over to local postal employees, said Dianna Svoboda, a spokeswoman for the North Side branch, which processes mail for 425 post offices in Western Pennsylvania. On a typical Monday, 850,000 pieces of mail are sent into circulation.

Nationwide, the postal service expected to handle about 850 million cards, letters and packages yesterday.

Holiday spirit carries workers through the busy seasons.

"They see colorful cards and all the packages going to special people; it really puts them in the spirit," Svoboda said.

The next busiest mail drop-off day isn't quite so festive -- tax season.

Additional Information:

Mailing your mail

Tips from the U.S. Postal Service:

  • Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you reuse a box, cover all previous labels and markings with black marker or adhesive labels.

  • Place cushioning all around your items.

  • Tape the opening of your box and reinforce all seams with 2-inch packing tape. Don't use cord, string or twine.

  • If the package weighs less than 1 pound and you have affixed the correct postage, drop it into a collection box. Anything more than a pound has to be dropped off at the post office.

  • Packages going within 150 miles of the North Side facility can be sent overnight on Christmas Eve for Christmas Day delivery.

  • Check your local post office branch for extended hours, or go online at www.usps.gov .

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