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Holiday package shipment deadlines approaching

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Now that your holiday shopping is underway you may be thinking about getting packages mailed out to your friends and family. If that includes shipping to military members overseas there are some things you should know. Starting today really starts our Christmas rush with the packages. In the age of e-mail packages, letters and cards can take a back seat to technology. But not in December. In the coming weeks the US Postal Service will deliver 20 billion pieces of mail for the holidays. We have to trust the post office to get it to him for us, they are our Santa Claus this year. Over the next three weeks, mail-by deadlines will countdown the post office's ability to deliver your packages by Christmas. The first deadline is December4. Ship a package to military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan after Tuesday and it won't make it by the 25th. Sherri Phelps is sending mail to Iraq. She said, "They're not here with there loved ones and it's especially important that they know they are being thought of. Especially on Christmas." One military father said, "It's the only link they have to being home. It's her first Christmas away." Both gift-givers beat the deadline to ship Christmas cheer halfway around the world to their military loved ones, and postal workers say that's the right idea Asheville postmaster Gary Richardson said, "The earlier you get it in here the better chance it's going to get there." On average the postal service processes 703 million pieces of mail a day. But not this month. From now until Christmas USPS workers will sort through one billion pieces of mail a day. You can see why earlier in December is often better. Tuesday's deadline only pertains to shipping parcel post. You have until December 11 if shipping priority mail. Mondays and Fridays are typically the busiest during the holiday season. And the postal service expects December 17 to be the busiest mailing day of the year.

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