Monday before Christmas a "madhouse" for post offices

By Ashley Nix

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Compared to any normal day at the U.S. Post Office, the Monday before Christmas is the absolute busiest. Postmaster Mike Allison said, "It's been a madhouse. The window opened at 7 a.m. and we already had a line."

That line of people inside the post office and cars outside it lasted the entire day. The post office expected to handle 800 million pieces of mail.

"It's kind of like the day before it snows and the grocery store has a line for bread," Allison said.  "Today is the day we expected."

Several people, including Stella Pelham, feel a little behind this Christmas.

"[This is] last minute Christmas card sending," Pelham said.  "[I'm] hoping they make it to actually wish them a Merry Christmas."

To expedite the process, she stood in a special line just for people buying stamps. That line was "not bad at all, lovely," she said.

Barbara Lewis, who was wearing a Christmas hat, had the same sentiments about the streamline process used to get people in and out quickly. She was mailing cards before it got too late.

"Sure, Saturday will be here before I know it," Lewis said.

The goal of all the chaos is to get all the presents, gifts, cards and boxes on time for December 25.  The post office is, however, asking you to be patient.

"If you would please have a good time in line, remember it's the time of joy!" Allison said. "And realize we're doing everything we can as USPS to honor your wishes and get your packages home to your loved ones."