It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means the post office is swarmed with customers, and swamped with packages that need to be delivered.

“In Wichita Falls, in my 30 plus years of service, I have never seen the package volume that we shipped out yesterday, on Monday,” postmaster John Pezzano said.

He said the uptick in deliveries is no doubt thanks to the hike in online shopping.

“Traditionally, Christmas at the post office is our busiest time of the year,” he said. “This year, with the increase of home shopping and online, we’ve seen a 15 percent increase over last year.”

That uptick can bring problems along with it.

According to “NextDoor”, in a new survey of residents across the United States, 42 percent of neighbors reported having a package stolen from their porch.

However, Pezzano said that isn’t a huge problem here in Wichita Falls.

“Wichita Falls, folks are pretty good, people are wary of when packages are scheduled to arrive and usually look for them,” he said.

But it’s still good to be cautious.

“We do want people to be mindful, so we don’t get a rash of stolen items,” Sgt. Harold McClure said. “Maybe make arrangements with a neighbor you know is there, someone you’re comfortable with, say hey, can I have a package delivered at your house?”

“I think still the best bet would be to sign for the package,” he said. “I know it’s a little more difficult, a little more inconvenient, but it is a safe way to keep your items secured.”

Most carriers also have a website or a phone app where you can leave special instructions for the person delivering your packages.

A good idea is to ask them to place the package somewhere a little more hidden, not right on your front porch.