First Posted: 11/21/2013
ROCKINGHAM — Rockingham Postmaster Branford Faw had a stack of two colorful letters on the side of his desk. Each letter was addressed to Santa.
This year, Faw has been enlisted by Santa to help respond to his letters.
“Don’t forget to include a return address,” Faw stressed. “I need to know where to send my response, but most importantly, Santa needs to know where the toys are going.”
The Rockingham Post Office is gearing up for a busy holiday season.
“We have noticed an increase on the receiving end this week, but expect it will get worse after Black Friday and Cyber Saturday,” Faw said.
The number of packages taken in by local postal workers is expected to double to 25,000 pieces of mail a day. The peak time for receiving will be from Thanksgiving to the week of Christmas. The number of outgoing packages will increase, too, but won’t approach the number of incoming parcels.
Jennifer Inman, a rural carrier in Rockingham, said that the increase in mail going out of the Rockingham branch provides job security. Inman loves this time of year and delivering letters and cards from loved ones to everyone on her route.
Inman said tips from customers often are received during the holiday period. Gift cards are the most common gift received. The neatest gift received Inman said she’s received was handmade washcloths and a crochet scarf.
“It was itchy and uncomfortable, but it looked cool,” Inman said.
The Forever Stamps this year include Hanukkah candles, gingerbread houses, wisemen, Mary and child, poinsettia and holiday baubles. The wisemen and holiday baubles were best sellers last year, but Poinsettia and the gingerbread houses are expected to do good this year.
The Postal Service has announced important “mail by” dates to ensure mail and packages are delivered by Christmas day. The deadlines are as follows:
Dec. 3: APO/FPO ZIP 093 First-Class Mail and Priority Mail;
Dec. 10: all other APO/FPO First-Class Mail and Priority Mail;
Dec. 14: Standard Post;
Dec. 20: First-Class Mail;
Dec. 21: Priority Mail; and
Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express.
More detailed shipping information is available at usps.com/shippingdates/. Customers also can also calculate prices and print postage on the website.