Christmas postal deadlines approaching

Published 10:02 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

With less than a week remaining until Christmas, time is running out for those who have not mailed Christmas gifts or cards.

Monday, Dec. 21 is the deadline for Priority Mail packages to arrive by Christmas Day. Express Mail packages should be postmarked no later than Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Clanton Post Office Supervisor Melanie Majors said customers should know that Express Mail packages mailed on or after Dec. 22 are not guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.

“When they come and bring their packages, the clerk will be able to tell them,” Majors said.

She advises people to pack gifts properly with the right amount of cushioning. Labels should be secured, and fragile packages should be marked “fragile.” Boxes containing glass items should also be marked.

Majors advised against putting candy canes and other bulky items in envelopes, as this will likely result in damage.

“Letter mail runs through machines, and [candy] may cause it to get ripped up,” she said. “It’s definitely going to get crushed.”

Also, the post office will accept letters to Santa. Majors said people are welcome to bring as many letters as they like.

“We are sending them on to Santa every day,” she said. “We enjoy it.”

Santa is scheduled to appear in person at 20 post offices around the state on Sunday, Dec. 20 — although Clanton isn’t one of them. From 1-4 p.m., the jolly ol’ man in red will be accepting letters and cards at the following locations:

Bessemer main office; Cullman main office; Tuscaloosa, Skyland Station; Montgomery, Shakespeare Station; Huntsville, Wynn Dr Station; Daphne; Fairhope; Foley; Selma; Jasper; Northport; Prattville; Troy; Enterprise; Opelika; Auburn; Phenix City; Anniston; Dothan; and Wetumpka.