Long lines today at your local post office

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The countdown to Christmas is on, and with that comes the rush to mail holiday packages. And in turn, long lines at the post office.

Monday, Dec. 21 was the busiest day to ship packages.

At the Birmingham's main branch post office, employees worked overtime to keep long lines moving.

They sorted thousands of Christmas cards and letters to Santa Claus. Officials said they always see extra customers just before Christmas.

"Usually the week before is crunch time," said Marketing Manager for the Alabama Postal Service Reginald Capers, "We try and prepare, and make sure we have enough staffing. It is a tradition, people always wait until the week before."

Postal officials said in order to make sure your Christmas package arrives safely, avoid re-using old boxes, double check the address and zip code, don't use masking tape, and put the address on the inside of the box just in case it is damaged.

Some customers said, no matter how much they plan, they always end up making a last-minute trip to the post office.

"It's always right down to the wire," said Brandon Marsh, "It wouldn't be in the Christmas spirit unless you got out in all the traffic and everything."

Postal officials said starting December 22, customers must use Express Mail to guarantee packages arrive by Christmas.