Monday is likely to be the busiest mailing day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service - and private shippers will also be busy moving millions of parcels.
There is still time to mail, but Christmas is drawing close. Ralph Petty, spokesman for the postal service in Sacramento, suggests people use priority mail to make sure packages get to their destination.
Priority mail gets to its destination in two or three days. Express mail is even faster: overnight delivery to most areas in the country.
And Christmas cards sent first-class mail can be mailed out by Thursday and reach their destination, according to the postal service.
"Monday will be the busiest mailing day of the holiday season," said Petty.
Sacramento-area postal workers will process about 2.4 million cards, letters and packages on Monday. Normally, workers would handle only 700,000 in a day.
FedEx expects to handle a record-breaking 280-million packages worldwide between Thanksgiving and Christmas, an increase of 13 percent from last year.
About 20,000 FedEx seasonal workers have been hired to handle the onslaught of packages.
"At FedEx, we have been preparing for this busy holiday season for almost a year now," said T. Michael Green, market development vice president.
More than 82 percent of all packages shipped via FedEx Ground are delivered in three business days or less, according to the company. Procrastinators have until Dec. 22 to ship items via FedEx Express for delivery in the continental U.S. on December 24.
United Parcel Service provides tips for shipping parcels:
• Use two inches of packaging peanuts on each side of a boxed item.
• Use packing tape on package seams - do not use masking, cellophane or duct tape.
• Use a new box.
• Take batteries out of items before shipping.