Mailing Cards/Packages Today? Get in Line
Traffic was snarled on Canton Center Road on Monday morning and people stood in long lines with letters and packages at the post office on the busiest mailing day of the year.
The line was 25 people long and growing, with people frantically sliding tape over boxes and carrying bundles of matching Christmas card envelopes—all this before 9 this morning at the Canton post office.
They won't be the only ones rushing today. The U.S. Postal Service expects 800 million letters and packages to be brought in and sent out today, the busiest mailing day of the year.
"Here in the southeast Michigan area, we're looking to get 3.2 million pieces of letter mail today and about 265,000 packages," said Ed Moore, a Postal Service spokesman.
Today is the last day that letters, including holiday cards, can likely get delivered by Christmas using regular first class mail rates, according to the postal service. Packages get an extra day with priority mail, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said. "If customers get their cards and packages to us by Tuesday, Dec. 21, we'll get them delivered by Christmas," he said.
Last-minute senders still have one last hope with the post office, though it's more costly: Post Office Express Mail will accept packages through Wednesday for Christmas delivery.
Carrie Thomas from Canton was taping two large boxes at the Canton post office this morning. She said she had heard Tuesday was the last day for packages and wanted to get in a little early. "I'm trying to get a jump on things," she said. 'I was out shopping and heard about the deadline. I want to get these things out to my nieces and nephews in Atlanta."
Most people sending packages Monday said the boxes of toys, clothes and holiday snacks were going to other states. Canton resident Katherine Ciarrocchi waited in line with her two small granddaughters to send two large packages to family in North Carolina. Diana Haddad of Canton was sending four boxes of Arabic sweets to her family in New York.
Terry Blumberg of Canton walked back and forth from the post office to his truck carrying boxes of goodies as part of his charity work with Blum's Landing, a northern Michigan vacation area for military personnel returning from tours of duty. "I want to get these out to the servicemen and women overseas," he said.
Ashley Bowers of Canton was among those mailing cards. She had a handful of 15 that she said are destined for friends and family. She said she has more, but joked that she's been a little busy. "I'm trying to finish my dissertation in statistics at the University of Michigan!" she said.
Maxine Saffron of Canton said most of the 35 cards she was mailing are for out-of-state friends and family. "This helps us keep in touch with people we don't see often throughout the year, it's a way to stay connected with loved ones," Saffron said.