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Postal service releases holiday mailing dates


The U.S. Postal Service suggests residents mail their letters, cards and packages by the following dates in order to reach their destinations by Christmas.

The suggested mailing date for First-Class and Priority Mail headed to the mainland is Dec. 19 and for Priority Express, the date is Dec. 20.

Suggested mailing dates are not deadlines, implying that packages or letters will not arrive at their destinations if mailed after the listed dates.

If normal holiday conditions prevail, chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas.

Ultimately, uncontrollable factors such as mailing volumes and weather determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time.

Mailing Tips

Here are some time- and money-saving tips:

* Save money with FLAT RATE BOXES: Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are the best deal around. Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for only $12.65. An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50 percent more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $17.90, and features the tagline “Seasons Greetings from Hawaii” printed on its side. And, to support our military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to most APO and FPO locations for $15.90.

* Save money with ONLINE DISCOUNTS: Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at and save up to 14 percent off of over-the-counter rates. Discounted rates are available for Priority, Express and International packages. Examples: Discounted Medium Flat Rate Boxes sent domestically are $11.30 (savings of $1.35); Large Flat Rate Boxes sent domestically are $15.80 (savings of $2.10); military APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Boxes are $13.80 (savings of $2.10).

* FREE package pickup: Skip the trip to the Post Office during the holidays. After printing out the mailing labels for your packages at, notify us at that they’re ready to be picked up. Your carrier will be alerted and will pick up your packages from your home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service.

* FREE insurance: All Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes now include day-specific delivery, improved tracking and free insurance.

* FREE packaging: Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes, including special “Seasons Greetings From Hawaii” large Flat Rate boxes, are available for free at your local Post Office.

• NEW THIS YEAR: Post Offices statewide have a limited quantity of free small and medium Flat Rate boxes with wintry holiday designs available for customer pick up and use.

• Express Mail on Christmas Day: The Postal Service delivers Express Mail on Christmas Day in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Ask your local postal clerk to determine whether this option is available for your holiday packages.

By the Numbers – Nationwide

* The Postal Service expects to process and deliver approximately 12.7 billion pieces of mail and 470 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That projected holiday package volume is an increase of 12 percent over last year.

* During this holiday period, the average number of mail pieces processed daily increases from 528 to 553 million pieces. On its busiest processing day that number will increase to 640 million.

* During the holiday season, the Postal Service will deliver mail to 153 million addresses via 212,000 vehicles.

* The busiest mailing day is anticipated to be Monday, Dec. 15. The busiest delivery days are likely to be Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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