US Postal Service marks busiest mailing day of the year

December 16, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Throughout the year, Bruce Downs and his wife select presents for friends and family at art shows they visit. They pile-up in a closet culminating in this: one, massive shipping effort.

"This is just my wife's family, I still have my family to do," said Downs.

The post office has so many packages to send out, they added Sunday delivery this week and next to make sure they all arrive before Christmas.

Here are the deadlines you need to know about to make sure your mail arrives on time: First class mail should go out by December 20, priority mail by December 21. Procrastinators can pay for overnight service that goes out on December 23 and arrives Christmas Eve.

Postal Service spokesman Mark Reynolds has one request for those shipping electronics.

"Please do not put the batteries in it. Pack the batteries separately. We get a little nervous if we hear something ticking or beeping in the mail," said Reynolds.

These days you can click, buy and ship your presents without ever seeing them but some like to add a personal touch.

"It's nicer to get a package straight from your family than the store. So I'm cheating a little bit," said Erin Zhoushi.

Whether it's a card -- or an armful of packages - postal workers have their work cut out for them.

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