Each year more than 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages are delivered by mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
Monday afternoon, several individuals were at the Rockingham Post Office making sure their packages are delivered by Christmas Day.
Tri-City Inc. employee Melinda Rowland was one of those. She was shipping perhaps a dozen gift-wrapped boxes.
“These are for co-workers from the company,” Rowland said.
She said despite the fact the presents aren’t from her, it’s still exciting to deliver them.
“It is,” Rowland said. “Everybody loves Christmas presents.”
Richmond County resident Regina Hamilton was sending a package from her 8-year-old son Zachariah to his father who lives in New York.
“It’s like a tie and a bag, and a bunch of Christmas cards,” Hamilton said. She said her son helped pick them out.
“He is real excited about sending his Dad a present,” she said.
For Richmond County resident Sandra Smith, the time to return gifts came early this year.
“I’m returning a Christmas present before Christmas even gets here,” Smith jested in line at the mail counter.
Smith was sending back a gift her son picked out for her.
“When it came, we kept looking at it, and I asked, ‘Do you think that will fit me?’” she said. “He said, ‘Well, they said it was a full-size large,’ and I thought, ‘They don’t know what a full-size large is then.’”
She said the members of her church, Cobb Memorial Baptist Church, have an interesting way of delivering gifts to each other which plays off of the concept of the post office.
“We have all these mailboxes labeled from A to Z,” she explained. “And, instead of delivering the gifts to them, you just put them in their mailbox. It’s pretty cute, and they’ve been doing it for years.”
Post offices will be open on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve this year.
First Class Mail and Priority Mail were suggested to be sent by Monday, so those who still have to send presents will want to use Next Day Delivery, or Express Mail.
Post offices will continue sending out Express Mail through December 23. The cost is $17.50 per package, regardless of weight and distance.
Other tips to ensure packages reach their destination on time.
Print address in all capital letters, eliminate all punctuation, spell out city names, include apartment numbers and use abbreviations for words like avenue, street or east or west.
Include a return address.
Use sturdy carton large enough for packaging and cushioning.
n Remove or mark out any conflicting address information.
Use pressure-sensitive or reinforced tape to secure all carton flaps.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at email@example.com.