Local News

Post Offices Brace for Avalanche -- of Mail

Posted December 15, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— It's a holiday rush of a different sort at the post office.

Postal officials project that today will be the busiest of the holiday mailing season.

From Christmas cards to Christmas presents the mail must go through. Later today, the U.S. Postal Service will announce its initiatives to make sure shipments arrive in time for Christmas.

But few post offices have it busier than those with names or words associated with the season. So employees in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Bethlehem, New Hampshire are put to the test at this time of year.

A New Hampshire clerk says the post office cancels about 40,000 pieces of mail in December -- which is a mere 38,000 more than usual. The mail is from people who want their season's greetings stamped with the town's special cancellation. It's a green stamp with the town's name and a pine-bordered village lit by a star.

The bulk of the mail comes from New England, though some comes in from all over the world. Some people hand deliver their mail, coming from as far away as New Jersey and Canada to get the stamp.

And, given the glut of mail, everyone is advised to make sure to pay and mail bills early so they don't get caught by the holiday crush.