Holiday card season hitting mailboxes this week

Holiday card season hitting mailboxes this week

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Keith McCord reportingYou've probably received a few holiday greeting cards in the mail already. Starting this week, they should really start filling up your mailbox. The numbers of cards and letters people mail this time of year are staggering!

People are scurrying around trying to complete their shopping and finishing up those Christmas cards and annual family letters. In the coming week, if you notice your letter carrier or delivery person arriving a bit later than normal, consider this:

  • For the U.S. Postal Service alone, the number of cards, letters and packages sent between Thanksgiving and Christmas will total 20 billion this year.
  • On a normal day, the postal service processes more than 700 million pieces of mail; during the holiday season, that number jumps to 1.7 billion pieces each day.
  • The Postal Service expects Dec. 17 to be its busiest day, in terms of mail volume, this year.

FedEx also predicts to set a record for volume on the 17th by moving more than 11 million packages through its entire system. FedEx's ground service, however, figures tomorrow will be its busiest day of the year, delivering 7 million packages.

DHL also will experience peak volumes tomorrow and on the 17th, with daily numbers up about 25 percent.

UPS has its sights set on Dec. 19 as its peak volume day, with 22 million packages being picked up and delivered. Its air service will more than double its deliveries on its peak flying day, Dec. 21.

Even though we can e-mail, text and make phone calls during the holidays, Americans still like sending and receiving the old-fashioned, hand-written holiday greetings. Card companies say 90 percent of all U.S. households buy holiday cards, and the average person receives about 20 cards each year.

So, when you see the letter carrier or package delivery folks in your neighborhood in the days ahead, shake their hand or bake them some cookies or something. They're going to be working extra hard.

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