The U.S. Postal Service recently released tips and deadlines to make the holiday shipping season easier.
The Irondequoit Branch, 425 E. Ridge Road, Rochester; Rochester Main Office, 1335 Jefferson Road; and Westgate Post Office, 1485 Howard Road, Rochester, will be open until 4 p.m Dec. 10 and 17. The Rochester Main Office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 11 and 18.
Key shipping dates for Dec. 25 arrivals are Dec. 15 for Priority Mail Express International and Standard Post, Dec. 21 for Global Express Guarantee and Priority Mail, Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail and Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express.
Military mailing deadlines are Dec. 9 for First-Class Mail letters and cards and Priority Mail, and Dec. 16 for Priority Mail Express Military Service.
There are a number of forever holiday stamps this year, including Holiday Windows, Diwali, Eid, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Madonna and Child and Nativity. Holiday stamps can be delivered to any address when ordered online or by calling 800-782-6724.
Customers can mail packages and purchase stamps at self-service kiosks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The kiosks are located at the Brighton Station, 130 N. Winton Road, Rochester; Fairport Post Office, 6740 Pittsford Palmyra Road; Greece Branch, 3245 Latta Road, Rochester; Henrietta Post Office, 25 Goodburlet Road; Hilton Post Office, 25 South Ave.; Irondequoit Branch; Loehmann’s Plaza, 1900 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester; Macedon Post Office, 1475 Canandaigua Road; North Chili Post Office, 3235 Union St.; Panorama branch, 1614 Penfield Road, Rochester; Pittsford Post Office, 5607 Palmyra Road; Penfield Post Office, 2080 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road; Ridgemont Branch, 2833 W. Ridge Road, Rochester; Rochester Main Office; Spencerport Post Office, 11 Amity St.; Victor Post Office, 21 Framark Drive; Webster Post Office, 75 Barrett Drive; and Westgate Post Office.
Customers can analyze prices, shipping options and delivery times; receive discounts at checkout on select products when they print, prepare and pay for shipping labels; schedule next-day package pickup; and order stamps online. Many grocery stores, pharmacies and retailers sell holiday stamps and offer postal services at night and on weekends.
Pick a strong, sturdy box when packing gifts and tightly tape it closed. Cushion contents to protect them during transportation. Wrap glass and other fragile items with extra newspaper or packing material, and place wrapped gift boxes inside a plain, larger box. Remove all batteries from electronics. Place an extra shipping label inside the box, so the item can be returned in case the box or label gets damaged.
Print addresses clearly and in caps. Include the “to” and “from” information, and double check the ZIP code. Label the box as “fragile” if it needs to be handled with extra care.
Use sturdy envelopes for letters and cards, especially when inserting gift cards inside. Consider sticking an address label on the gift care in case the item is separated from the envelope. Never send cash.
USPS will handle 16 billion letters, cards and packages during the holiday season. The Buffalo and Rochester Processing and Distribution Centers are projected to handle about 75 million letters and cards; the North West Rochester and Rochester Processing and Distribution Centers are projected to handle 10 million packages.
For more information, visit usps.com.