FILE - In this April 15, 2008 file photo, a woman drops her federal tax return in the mail slot at a post office in Palo Alto, Calif. With the federal deficit topping a record $1 trillion in July, 2009, and rapidly on its way to doubling by this fall, the government desperately needs to squeeze out every tax dollar it can find. That could translate into more audits or at least a letter from the IRS politely asking you to refigure your taxes. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
TOPEKA -- The Topeka Post Office encourages customers to mail early this holiday season and has released suggested mail-by dates to ensure packages, cards, and letters reach their intended destination before the 2011 celebrations begin.
Cards and packages destined for military addresses should be in the mail no later than Dec. 10. Cards and packages going to military addresses in Afghanistan should be mailed as soon as possible as the mail-by date was Dec. 3. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the Postal Service offers a $2 discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes.
For international destinations, mail-by dates range from Dec. 2 to Dec. 12 depending on the destination, with Global Express Guaranteed service available through Dec. 20 for most countries (Dec. 21 if mailing to Canada or Mexico).
Suggested mail-by dates for cards and packages destined for U.S. addresses are: Dec. 15 for Parcel Post; Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail, Dec. 21 for Priority Mail, and Dec. 22 for Express Mail.
Next Friday, December 16th, is expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year and the following Monday, December 19th, is the busiest delivery day.
“We suggest holiday shippers use Priority Mail to send gifts and good wishes,” said Topeka Postmaster B. Steven Pinkerton. “The Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes come in a variety of sizes and are always free. Remember — ‘if it fits it ships’ for a low flat rate.”
Customers who mail online with usps.com/click-n-ship qualify for a discount on Priority Mail and Express Mail. And when a package is ready to be shipped, log on to usps.com/pick-up to schedule free package pickup right from your home or office.
Many Post Offices now offer greeting cards and gift cards – the single most requested holiday gift.
Domestic Mail Product: Mail-by Date
Parcel Post: Dec. 15th
First-Class Mail: Dec. 20th
Priority Mail: Dec. 21st
Express Mail: Dec. 22nd