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Shipping presents? Here’s the option in the final days before Christmas

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 22:49:54-05

It’s the last-minute rush to get those cards and gifts out for Christmas.

The United States Postal Service anticipates that between 850 and 950 million packages will be delivered for the holidays.

With Christmas just a few days away, your best bet at this point is priority mail express. It’ll cost you $27.10 for a flat rate envelope to arrive by Christmas.

“We actually celebrated with our family last weekend, Christmas holiday,” said post office customer, Susan Updegrove. “This is a present I forgot to give my granddaughter so I'm hoping it'll get there for her on Christmas morning.”

For some people we talked with waiting until the week of Christmas is not the norm.

“Definitely a lot earlier than now but just with life and actually getting, initially getting my Christmas cards that I was having printed, it kind of set things back a little bit,” said another post office customer, Jennifer Philson.

We’ve heard a lot about supply chain issues over the past few months but the post office on Dalidio Drive in San Luis Obispo says they’ve been working extra hours to send the Christmas cheer.

“Things have been really busy,” said USPS Clerk, Andy Ferreira. “We've been seeing a lot of packages coming in and out of this building for the last, I want to say month and the volumes have been really really high. We've been working long hours but we've been able to pull through and get everything out the same day it comes in.”

While most of the deadlines have come and gone, you still have time if you’re really in a bind. The deadline for priority mail express is this Thursday, December 23.

“If you're staying in California, it's about one to two days and it'll make it there by Friday but anywhere else out of California is probably going to be a little bit after Christmas,” Ferreira explained.

The total number of letters, cards, and packages processed and delivered between Thanksgiving and New Years’ Day is estimated to be more than 12 billion.

While those we talked with said they’d like their presents to arrive to their loved ones in time but if not, it’s not the end of the world.

“Ideally but you know, the sky won't fall if it doesn't make it. Just with adults it doesn't matter as much as with kids and that's who I was doing this year,” said post office customer, Maryann Matteson.

With the priority express deadline looming, the gifting rush may ramp up over the next couple of days and the postal service says they’re here to help.

“Whatever they can fit in here, basically, if it fits, it ships,” Ferreira said.

If you’re looking to avoid lines, the best time to come to the post office is early in the morning or toward the end of the day.