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U.S. Postal Service kicks off holiday mailing season

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MILWAUKEE -- The holiday shopping season is upon us, and with that, comes the holiday mailing season. On Thursday, November 29th, the U.S. Postal Service in Milwaukee kicked off the busiest season of the year by unveiling the new Santa & Sleigh Forever stamp.

"A Forever stamp means you can buy it now, as many as you want now and it lasts forever, no matter what rate change goes through," Milwaukee Postmaster Paul Nistler said.

The kickoff event took place at the el Rey Market near 51st and Oklahoma.  It's one of 25 new Contract Postal Units (CPUs) in Milwaukee.  They are places where people can go to buy stamps and supplies and ship off packages instead of going to the post office.

The hope is to help alleviate lines and make the mailing process more convenient.

Between now and Christmas, the Postal Service will deliver more than 15 billion cards, letters and packages - an average of 600 million pieces per day.

“We'll see a 20% increase in our packages over this Christmas period,” Nistler said.

Monday, December 17th is expected to be the busiest mailing date.  Wednesday, December 19th will be the peak delivery day.

With all that volume, officials suggest getting a head start. To beat the holiday rush, it's best act early.

“Because parcels take a little bit longer to get home, we're asking people to get those in the mail system early so we can get them home for Christmas,” Nistler said.

Here are a few deadlines to remember to have cards, letters or packages delivered by Christmas Day, December 25th:

  • For regular mail in the United States, the deadline is December 20th.
  • Express mail can be sent as late as December 22nd.
  • For packages sent through parcel post, send by December 14th.
  • For packages to military members overseas, the Postal Service recommends sending packages within the next week or two.