Postal service workers hustling for the holidays |

Postal service workers hustling for the holidays

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunMail Clerk Jack Bernardo sorts packages to be delivered at the post office in downtown Truckee Monday afternoon. The post office is expecting to handle more than 2,000 packages today.

Bubble wrap, tissue paper, family photos and long lines made for a hectic day at the post office Monday ” the busiest mailing day of the year.

“It’s a usual year,” said Caroline Cutler, interim postmaster for the Truckee post offices. “We’re always inundated, but we’re prepared.”

Ramping up for the Christmas delivery crunch means that no postal employees can take a vacation in December, Cutler said. And it also means that every employee is at work, and that nearly twice as many deliveries are being made to Truckee and the North Shore from the processing plant in Reno, she said.

Monday, the nine post offices between Kings Beach and Truckee received more than double the number of packages they accept on a normal day, said Cutler.

Workers at the post office in Carnelian Bay usually handle 40 to 50 packages daily, said Postmaster Greg Pace, but Monday’s number was closer to 175, based on estimates.

“This is at least as many as we had last year,” Pace said.

Nationwide, United States Postal Service employees processed or canceled an estimated 280 million pieces of mail on the Monday before Christmas, according to the postal service, just a fraction of the 20 billion pieces of mail stamped between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Keep these United States Postal Service dates in mind, so your packages get where they’re going in time:

Express Mail Service: December 22

First-Class Mail for Letters/Cards: Yesterday!

Priority Mail: December 20

Parents can secretly craft a response from Santa and mail it with a second self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Fairbanks, AK Post Office. Postal elves at the nearby North Pole Post Office will postmark Santa’s replies and mail them back to the children.

Send your Santa response letters via Priority Mail to:

North Pole Christmas Cancellation


5400 Mail Trail

Fairbanks AK 99709-9998

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