Ottumwa postal workers, customers keep calm on 'Busiest Mailing Day of the Year'

Ottumwans in line at post office on the year's Busiest Mailing Day

Linde Gentle is sealing and labeling a few last-minute Christmas gifts to send to her granddaughters in Tucson, Arizona.

"My oldest one is a Stealers' fan, so she's got a lot of Stealers stuff,â?? Gentle said. â??My other one's like Monster High, so they've got all their Monster High goodies, so yup, they'll be happy.â??

The post office, located on 616 W. Second St, has had customers backed up to the door since they opened according to Delivery Supervisor Michelle Nell.

â??We opened at 7:30 this morning, and we've had a line generally to the door with people to mail in those last minute packages to make sure they meet the delivery for Christmas, Christmas Eve,â?? Nell said.

With just nine days before Christmas, the United States Postal Service deems this Monday 'The Busiest Mailing Day of the Year'. The USPS expects to deliver more than 500 million packages, letters and cards nationwide.

"Pieces of mail today, I think parcel volume today was over 2,000 pieces for today to deliver through Ottumwa." Nell said.

â??The furthest away is Australia that I need to get a package to, so that I have to get out todayâ?? Miriam Kenning said.

Customer Miriam Kenning says she always waits until the last minute.

â??There's a very short time between Christmas and Thanksgiving this year,â?? she said. â??I think that's one reason, but also I think that's part of the fun is to get everything ready, and to enjoy just sending things out at the last minute, to me that's just part of the tradition.â??

If you havenâ??t gotten youâ??re packages in the mail yet, postal workers highly recommend sending parcels via priority mail instead of standard shipping, and also to make sure you get everything mailed no later than December 20th.

â??Package them well,â?? Nell says. â??Make sure everything's packaged in sturdy boxes; make sure names and return addresses are on them. Make sure you have the correct address, make sure you have the correct zip code.â??

She also suggests insuring packages at the value they are worth just in case items are lost stolen or damaged.,