Santa’s not the only one delivering packages
By Robin Scott
The U. S. Postal Service rivals Santa Clause for on time holiday delivery of Christmas presents and gifts. USPS expects to deliver 16.6 billions cards, letters and packages all over the United States and abroad in a mere 30-day period. 97 million customers will visit the post office before Christmas to get their holiday fare in the mail.
Last Friday was the first official deadline for the USPS for delivery mail before Christmas. That means that the sooner patrons get into to mail their cards, letters and packages, the better.
Dalhart Post Master Traci Yonke noted on Friday, December 4th, that visitors at the Dalhart Post Office will find less crowds if they go early in the morning or early afternoon. Times to avoid waiting in long lines are during the lunch hour and late afternoon. She noted, “At lunch I only have one clerk on duty, so it is always a busy time. Then again in the late afternoon when school lets out we see a large number of people.”
This year USPS is offering two new Christmas stamps. Each year the traditional “Madonna” or mother and child stamp is offered during the holidays as well as non-religious stamps. This year’s 44 cent Madonna and sleeping child stamp is based upon the painting by the 17th Century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi, commonly known as Sassoferrato. The famous painting is a part of the collection of paintings at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. The Madonna stamps have been offered since 1978.
Those wishing to use non-religious stamps also have an array to choose from, including a reindeer, snowman, gingerbread man and toy soldier. Other holiday stamps currently available include a Hanukkah stamp featuring a menorah with nine lit candles, a Kwanzaa stamp featuring a family grouping in bright green, red, gold and black and EID stamp with the Arabic phrase EID mubarak (blessed festival) in gold calligraphy on a blue background.
An estimated 30 million pounds of mail will leave the United States during the holiday on its way to military installations overseas. U.S. Service members in Iraq and Afghanistan are among those who will receive their Christmas mail from friends and family back in the states. The busiest day for USPS is December 14th, when approximately 830 million cards, letters and packages will be mailed on just that one day, which makes December 16th the busiest delivery day for the postal service.
Santa may deliver hundreds of thousands of packages in one night, but the USPS delivers millions on a daily basis. Since 1775 the postal service has been delivering mail, making them the nation’s number one shipping experts.