Pick up from Royal Mail on Christmas Eve

Today busiest day of the year for post office's

And, that includes mailing and shipping off presents.

You can avail of express post tomorrow if you really need to get something delivered and can't make it to the post office today.

"You know, it's for my sister", a customer said. Just this week, they expect to handle more than 3 billion cards, letters and packages.

"This is the busiest week we will have all year", said Debbie Fetterly, Strategic Communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service's Alabama and South Florida district.

Readers who sell on eBay should also be mindful of the hidden cost of higher shipping rates: eBay takes a commission on shipping costs in addition to the value of the item sold, generating more revenue for its bottom line every time sellers (or buyers) pay more to ship. "It's about three times more items than the next busiest day".

Many people in Baton Rouge are rushing to the post office to mail their Christmas gifts.

More news: Instant analysis of Packers' season-ending loss to Panthers

If you're sending packages by postal service, then Wednesday, Dec. 20 is the deadline to ship it as priority mail.

Christmas will be here in less than a week, and the deadlines to ship gifts in time for the holiday are this week.

"I know from a national perspective that (online shopping) has picked up, which means shipping has picked up", she said.

But if you can't get out in time for second class, don't despair as the final date for first class and special delivery guaranteed is Thursday, December, 21.

Research firm StellaService says December 19 is the most popular cutoff date for retailers, two days earlier than a year ago. "Keep in mind that if you printed a return label before this date, you likely expected a certain price/rate", he said.

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