WICHITA FALLS - It's not even December 1st and postal service employees are already seeing lines out the door, longer hours and more stops along routes.
They have a big task this time of year when you consider packages start piling high in local lobbies as early as 4 A.M.
Postal service employee, Katherine January just celebrated 19 years with the United States Postal Service, she said the work weeks get a little longer when Christmas rolls around.
"We usually work between 7:30 and 3:30, Monday through Saturday. This being the holiday season, of course, we're going to start working on Sundays now, not delivering mail but delivering packages," January told us.
About 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, the postal service changes their delivery hours to accommodate all of those packages.
Customer service supervisor, Michael Light said, "It's going to continue going on until at least the beginning of the year."
Light stated it will also be the busiest year yet since they expect to see a 10 percent increase in the number of packages they handle.
He continued to tell us, "Nationally, equals about 850-million packages that we'll end up delivering through the holiday season."
All those packages and all the mail wouldn't arrive if it weren't for the dedicated letter carriers.
January said, "It's important for me as a postal employee, I want to take care of all my customers. I have 790 families that live on my route and they depend on me to put the right mail in the right box on the right day."
Light told us they even hire back up to get them through the holiday season, "We do have seasonal help that we do hire on, they are generally with us for about 30 days and that goes on the clerk side, back here getting all the packages ready in the morning as well as doing parcel delivery on the street as well."
He said in Wichita Falls, the postal service staff increases by about 20 percent, and that's on top of folks like January picking up additional hours and days.
She said, "It's okay that we're giving up because what we're doing is providing a service the American public that cannot be duplicated by any other agency, so it's a prideful thing."
"Rain, snow, sleet, shine, kids birthday's, national holidays, whatever's going on in the world, my guys here, the guys over at the bridge creek station and the post workers throughout the U.S., someone's here delivering mail every single day," Light finished by saying.
For the next few weeks, those letter carriers will be in overdrive to ensure many special deliveries make it to their destinations before the big deadline!
To ensure your gifts arrive on time, the postal service issues dates. To take a look at those, just click usps.com/holiday.
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