Holiday time is busy time at post office |

Holiday time is busy time at post office

Send early, write legibly and let the U.S. Postal Service take care of the rest.

With a shortened holiday shopping season, the post office is reminding customers to avoid delays by sending their holiday gift packages early.

This year, it may be even wiser not to wait until the last minute.

Along with the heavy onslaught of holiday mail, new security rules put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration apply to all stamped packages that weigh 1 pound or more.

“Even if you have carefully calculated and applied the correct amount of postage, you must bring these packages to the post office for mailing,” said South Lake Tahoe Postmaster Michael Benson.

A timetable that describes deadlines for sending packages should be available by Thursday, Benson said.

Packages found in mail collection boxes, because of security guidelines, may be returned to the sender, Benson added. The only exceptions are business packages and letters that used metered postage.

Packages for international destinations, including military APO and FPO addresses, have special customs requirements and must also be mailed at the post office.

Also, Benson reminds customers that all packages must be labeled legibly, and that if senders plan to recycle boxes or envelopes, they should make sure all markings and labels are removed from the package.

Parcels cannot be accepted if markings visibly indicate that the box was used at one time for shipping any kind of hazardous materials, Benson said.

“Wrapping boxes to cover markings is not sufficient. If the wrapping is damaged and markings become visible, the package will be returned,” he said.

Parcels should not be wrapped with string and all packages should have wrapping tape, not masking tape.

City Editor Jeff Munson can be reached at

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