LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — With Christmas days away, several deadlines for shipping gifts in time for the holiday through the U.S. Postal Service are on the horizon.
Friday marks the final day to send First Class mail in time for Christmas day, Saturday is the last day for Priority Mail, and Monday is the deadline for Priority Express shipments.
The USPS expects to mail 13 billion items between Thanksgiving and New Years with 2.5 billion being shipped the week before Christmas with Las Vegas Letter Carriers pulling overtime shifts to handle the increased workload.
"They're working extremely hard," said Gene Barton, USPS customer relations coordinator, "everybody, from our letter carriers to our clerks all the way up to our support staff."
Barton said carriers like Matthew Richter, who's been delivering mail for 33 years, have been coming into work at 6 a.m. to complete deliveries of packages before they begin their regular routes.
"We start early and work late ensuring the packages get out," Richter said.
Richter said the work can be demanding but is normally worth it when he's delivered a memorable gift to families eagerly awaiting his arrival.
"A nice smile goes a long way," he said, "it really does. Especially when I see the little kids, hand them candy canes, and tell them Merry Christmas."