Local post offices bustling with holiday mail, packages

Published 11:21 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Thelma Jenkins purchases stamps at the Franklin post office to mail her Christmas cards to as far away as Columbia, S.C. -- Andrew Faison | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—When Thelma Jenkins got to the Courtland post office before it opened Monday, she opted to run errands and mail her Christmas cards from the Franklin office.

“Since it was lunch time, I expected a line coming in, but honestly, it’s not too bad,” Jenkin said while standing online for what’s traditionally the busiest day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service.

The Postal Service expected to deliver 15.2 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, said spokeswoman Freda Sauter for the Richmond District.

Around noon, about eight people stood in line at the Franklin post office. Among them was Franklin resident Ralph Tayloe, who was in line for 5 to 10 minutes to purchase stamps for his 59 Christmas cards and other mail.

“I had just one stamp left over,” Tayloe said. “I wanted to get all of my cards in today to make sure they got there on time.”

By lunchtime the Franklin office saw an estimated 300 packages as well as 3,000 to 4,000 letters, said Franklin Postmaster Terri Brooks.

“We’ve had a busy day,” Brooks said. “It got even busier around lunch time. Today has been one of our heaviest days of the year for packages.”

The Postal Service expects to deliver 365 million packages in December, a 20 percent increase over last year.

The story was similar in Windsor, where Postmaster Steve Trent reported more activity than any other day during the year.

“We had an awesome day yesterday,” Trent said. “We were anywhere from three to four times as busy as a normal shipping.”

Customers who would like items to arrive by Christmas will have until Thursday, Dec. 20, to send packages by first-class mail and Friday, Dec. 21, to send priority mail items. They recommend shipping express mail no later than Saturday, Dec. 22.