Mail deadline near

Dec. 15 cutoff for sending holiday items

It's not too late to mail early, so get your holiday packages and cards ready now.

Today would be the best day to mail packages, although Craig Postmaster Rick Ryan said Dec. 15 will be the latest day packages can be mailed to avoid a disappointing Christmas morning. Dec. 8 is the cutoff for getting overseas packages to their destinations by Christmas Day.

"The earlier you mail, the cheaper it is," Ryan said. "If stateside packages and letters are not in the mail stream from Craig by Dec. 15, there is a possibility they may not arrive before Christmas."

"If it's mailed after Dec. 15, it's pretty much going to have to go priority mail to be sure it gets there," he added. "The last mailing date to make sure it gets there is Dec. 23, and those will have to go express mail to get there by the twenty-fifth."

Ryan said that express packages only express packages will be delivered on or before Dec. 25 if mailed after the cutoff.

The post office in Craig will not offer extended hours this season. Regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The post office has colorful holiday stamps in a variety of designs this year, including Holiday Deer, Madonna and Child, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. To avoid standing in line at the post office, call 1-800-STAMP24 to order stamps by mail, stamps by fax, and stamps by phone. For rates, zip codes and other information ask at the post office, call 1-800-ASK USPS, or access the Web site at www.usps.com.

Ryan also offers these mailing tips:

n Write, type or print the complete delivery address, neatly and clearly.

n Always include a return address.

n Always include complete address information including St., Ave., Blvd., Rd., apartment or suite numbers, and directional identifiers such as N, W or SW.

n Zip code information should be correct. When in doubt, contact the post office or log on to the Postal Service web site at www.usps.gov.

n Use strong mailing containers and leave space for padding.

n Wrap packages securely. Use tape designed for shipping (not scotch tape), such as pressure-sensitive, nylon-reinforced, or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive types.

n Good cushioning materials include plain air-popped popcorn, shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts.

n Delivery and return addresses should be the only ones on the packages. An extra return address label tucked inside is a good idea.

n Glass and fragile hollow items such as vases or photograph frames with glass should be packed with newspaper or other packing material.

n Packages weighing a pound or more must be taken into the post office for mailing.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.