Holiday mail deadlines arrive as USPS reports ‘historic record’ of shipments during peak season

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 12:30 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - As the United States Postal Service experiences what it describes as “a historic record of mail and package volume this holiday season,” window clerk Kara Funk said she can see that surge happening from her station in the northeast Cedar Rapids post office.

“The only place busier is the North Pole,” she said.

This holiday season is Funk’s third as a clerk in Cedar Rapids, and she said it’s the busiest she has experienced, with more people bringing in presents to ship to loved ones as public health leaders encourage Americans to limit the size of their holiday gatherings.

Among them were Jordan Schier of Cedar Rapids, who said he stopped by the northeast Cedar Rapids post office during his lunch break Thursday to send gifts to friends in California.

“I was expecting a long line, but it was not a long wait — very short, quick, and efficient,” Schier said.

Schier made the deadline for sending domestic shipments in time to arrive by Christmas.

Friday is the last day to send First-Class Mail through the postal service to have it arrive by Dec. 25.

Saturday is the deadline for Priority Mail, which is a little more expensive.

People who miss those deadlines can still send packages through USPS Priority Mail Express until Wednesday, but that’s the priciest option for a Christmas arrival.

Funk says her best advice for customers — besides being patient — is to make sure they don’t forget to write down a return address.

“Also write your return address and where it’s going on a piece of paper and put it in that package or in that envelope, so if anything does happen to it and it does tear open, we still know where it’s going or where it came from,” she said.

Because if people are going to wait in line to send their presents, Funk said she wants that wait to be worth it.

“Unfortunately, they’re not able to spend time with their families right now, so getting their packages out to their family is our priority,” she said.

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