Make your Christmas delivery deadline from home!

Lawton_It's the busiest time of year for the post office and with Christmas less than two weeks away, postal officials say they'll be handling over one billion pieces of mail by Monday.  That means you'd better get your packages and letters in the mail before it's too late.  It can be stressful for those mailing their packages, too.  Lobbies are often packed with people on their lunch hour, it can be a long wait - and, it'll only get worse.

It doesn't have to be that way, though.  The post office has some ways to help you get them there fast.  It's easy and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.  Lawton resident Cassandra Duvall is a little late sending her husband his Christmas gift.  He's been deployed to Iraq and she's still hoping he'll get it in time for Christmas Day.  "They say guaranteed in 10 days, but because it's a holiday, it might take longer," she says.

Lawton Post Office Customer Service Supervisor JT Hoffman says they go through the same thing every year.  "A lot of people wait until the last minute, which we don't advise, mail it off as early as possible," he says.  "But you know it's already getting down to the wire."

Even State Representative Ann Coody is cutting it close this year.  "Actually, this is probably a little earlier than I usually do," she says.  "I usually mail them about 6 or 7 day before Christmas and just hope they'll get there.  But I think these will get there."

This is why the USPS has created ways to make it easier for you to send your mail.  There's an automated postal center at the post office where you can buy postage from the machine, get your label and drop the package in the mailbox - it's open 24 hours a day.

Lawton resident April Adams thinks it's a great idea.  "There's no wait.  It's awesome," she says.  "It's so fast and convenient.  You just walk in and do everything you need to do and you're done."  But, it's not the only way to avoid lines.  You arrange pick up from your own home as well.

Long on to, pay for the postage with your credit or debit card, print it out and wait for the next time your carrier brings the mail.  They'll pick up your shipment when they drop by to deliver your post - at no charge whatsoever.  If you don't choose one of these options, expect to wait in line if you decide to wait until the last minute.

There is still some time left, though.  If you mail within the United States, send it by the 22nd.  If you're sending a package overseas, make sure you get it out by the 18th.  The Lawton Post Office will be delivering express mail and priority packages on Christmas Day to make sure people are getting what they are expecting.

Here are your deadlines for Christmas deliveries through the US Postal Service:

  • Letters, cards and priority mail - before or on December 22nd
  • Overseas shipments - send your mail "express" by December 18th
  • Parcel Post - before December 15th