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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
6:31 PM Sat, Oct. 20th

Time running out to get those Christmas cards and packages in the mail

Almost anything can be mailed through the U.S.

Postal Service if it is packaged properly, but there are a few exceptions.

"People are being asked not to mail anything hazardous, or anything that looks as if it could be hazardous material," said Cheryl Sinigaglio, U.

S.

Postal Service customer service supervisor at Kingman's main post office, located at 1901 Johnson Ave.

That means not mailing presents in a box that had previously been used to package chemicals or cleaning supplies.

"The box will have a certain label on the outside," Sinigaglio said.

The U.

S.

Postal Service is expected to deliver more than 20 billion greeting cards and parcels this holiday season.

Postal officials also advise customers to let recipients know when a package is on the way, and to include a return address on all mail items to help ensure prompt, safe delivery.

First-class letters, cards and packages to military personnel should be mailed by Dec.

11 to guarantee Christmas delivery, Sinigaglio said.

The deadline for Express Mail service to military personnel is Dec.

20.

The deadline for letters, cards and packages sent to Asia, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East is Dec.

16 for airmail, Dec.

17 for Global Express mail and Dec.

20 for Global Express Guaranteed mail.

Domestic parcel post, the slowest way to mail a package, will be delivered within 10 days, so it should be mailed by Dec.

14.

To guarantee delivery by Christmas, if mailing after Dec.

10, people should use priority mail, (within two to three days) or express mail (next-day delivery), states information from the Postal Service.

First-class letters and cards must be mailed by Dec.

21 to arrive in time for Christmas.

Federal Express, Airborne Express and United Parcel Service all have guidelines on the correct way to wrap packages for mailing, and when to send them to guarantee Christmas delivery.

Packages sent through the Postal Service must be properly packaged and wrapped in a plain box strong enough to protect the contents.

Leave space inside the box for packaging material.

As a packaging cushion, use shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts.

Plain air-popped popcorn is also good for cushioning.

All should be packed tightly.

When mailing glass items or framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately, Sinigaglio said.

Also remove batteries from toys and wrap them and place them next to the toys in the mailing box, suggests the Postal Service.

There should be no paper, string, or extraneous printing on the box - only the address, and clear, strong, cellophane mailing tape should be used.

Customers are also encouraged to insure their breakable packages at the post office, and put the address inside the package as well as the outside, in case the package breaks open and the address on the outside is destroyed.

All packages sent through the Postal Service that weigh at least 1 pound must be taken into the Postal Service for mailing.

Check with the service if mailing especially large of heavy packages, especially if mailing oversees.

Mailing rooms provide United Parcel Service and Fed Ex mailing services in addition to Postal Service priority mailing.

UPS mailing requirements specify that packages that contain anything breakable, such as a china doll, or a vase, must be double boxed with two to four inches of Styrofoam "peanuts."

Packaging material and boxes are available at the Postal Service, mailing stores and stores that sell packaging supplies.

Some mailing rooms also wrap gifts and boxes for mailing as a service to customers.