Shipping deadlines near as Christmas approaches

Posted at 5:39 AM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 05:39:33-05

The deadline is looming. Have you mailed your Christmas cards, or gifts?

Monday is predicted to be the busiest shipping day for holiday packages and cards.

There was a line forming outside the post office on Banyan Trail in Boca Raton about 30 minutes before it opened Monday.

There were about ten to 15 people in line nearly all day. USPS leaders predict this holiday season will be busier than last year, adding they'll mail more than 15 billion pieces of holiday mail.

Carol from Plantation says she should have expected a line when she walked into the Boca Raton post office, but it still surprised her.

The line was nearly out of the door. She didn't know today is expected to be the busiest day of the year at the post office.

We set up a timer to find out how long it would take Carol to reach the clerk.

"Not too bad," Carol said of the nine minutes it took to get through the line.

But she has to come back later this week to mail Christmas cards. So which time of the day would be best?

We asked Norman and Emilee Rosenbaum who spent about ten minutes in line waiting to mail gifts to their grandkids.

"We were trying to time it. I thought the morning would be crowded with people going to work. It really didn't matter what time, it's going to be busy," Emilee points out.

The post office says there was a lull today from about 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Sylvia Zerafa and her husband spent ten minutes in line and then another ten minutes putting stamps on all their cards. They say they try to get done earlier in the month.

"Of course every year it's like this, but you always forget. You think I'll get there early next year, and never do," Zerafa says.

The best advice for people bound to spend precious holiday minutes in a line is to have your addresses written and boxes taped before you arrive.

"It really slows every body down if you come to the window and the label on your package is illegible, or you're missing a zip code. The details are really important," Emilee says.

Tuesday is the deadline to send a package at the cheapest rate and have it arrive by Christmas. For a list of other deadlines,click here.