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Are those Christmas packages ready to go?
Post offices see influx of business as holiday nears
U.S. post office employees say they have been selling many holiday-themed stamps in the past week. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Christmas packages
Mail by these dates to ensure delivery by Christmas
Parcel post: Wednesday
First-class mail: Monday
Priority mail: Monday
Express Mail: Dec. 23*
* Service commitments are based on drop-off times.
Source: U.S. Postal Service

Christmas is still 10 days away but thousands of people are already mailing gifts to friends and family far away.

According the U.S. Postal Service, Monday was the busiest shipping day of the holiday season.

It is estimated that nationwide, more than 830 million cards, letters and packages were mailed Monday, compared to 583 million on a typical day.

The post office on Green Street in Gainesville was no exception; people were lined up in hopes of getting presents and cards delivered by Christmas.

Gainesville resident Mike Canupp was at the post office Monday to ship a number of things he sold on eBay Inc.

Canupp said he had to get things out Monday because some buyers mentioned they wanted their items for Christmas gifts.

"Anything after (Monday) and they may not get it," Canupp said.

Canupp said he goes to the Green Street post office a few times a week and noticed there was much more buzz than usual.

"Today’s the busiest I’ve seen it," Canupp said.

Sales Service and Distribution Associate Jennifer Parker said the weeks leading up to Christmas have been hectic this year at the Green Street post office.

Parker said aside from coming in to mail packages, a lot of people are buying Christmas stamps to mail cards.

Priority Mail flat rate boxes have also been popular this year.

"If it fits (in the box) it ships," Parker said. "A lot of people are doing those."

Some of the packages leaving Northeast Georgia have a long way to go.

The U.S. Postal Service said 30 million pounds of mail will be delivered to military troops overseas, including war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Raleigh McGarity had an arm load of packages ready to ship for Northeast Georgia Medical Center employees.

"Most of them are Christmas gifts," McGarity said. "These two are going overseas."

Pak Mail Center in Dawsonville has sent packages all over the world this holiday season.

Owner Barry Goren said his store has sent gifts to Korea, Germany, Italy and Afghanistan, to name a few.

"Some people are shipping 10 packages at a time to the same place," Goren said. "We’ve been pretty busy."