RALEIGH — Not everybody can be home for the holidays, but you can send your Christmas cheer through the mail.
The post office will handle over 16 billion cards and packages this holiday season, so you better hurry if you want to beat the rush.
The holiday rush is on at the post office. Customers formed lines a dozen deep at Raleigh's North Hills station as soon as the doors opened Monday morning.
"It's different, because it's been a steady line all day. I don't think it is going to stop for the next two weeks," said post office clerk Marvin Whitley.
It is one of the busiest times of the year for stamp sales with customers stocking up on their Christmas postage.
Others have finished their shopping, and now it is time for shipping their gifts.
If you are heading to the post office, plan on waiting a while. Experts say you should not wait until the last minute to bring in your cards and packages.
"We always suggest that people mail as early as they possibly can to help us as far as the crush coming closer to Christmas. But, we will be accepting mail, packages and letters up until Christmas Eve, because we do have Express Mail that delivers on Christmas Day," said Alvetta Callis of the U.S. Postal Service.
Officials believe that Dec. 14 will be the busiest day of the season.