By Kristin Bednarski
The holiday season means busy malls and shopping centers each year, but another busy business from Thanksgiving through Christmas each year is the United States Postal Service.
During the holidays, millions of United States residents send out holiday greetings cards, packages and other parcels.
In Clermont County, lines stretched out the door at some post offices, and parking lots remained full, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas day.
“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s we expect to see 17.9 billion cards, letters and packages,” David Van Allen, media spokesman for the United States Postal Service, said.
Van Allen said on an average day the United States Postal Service processes 528 million pieces of mail. He said during the holidays they process about 48 million more pieces per day.
“It’s about a 20 percent increase in packaging during the holidays,” Van Allen said. “With everyone ordering online it has contributed to a big bump.”
RaeJean Boggs, officer in charge at the Bethel Post Office, said they have seen this bump in their post office.
“What I’ve noticed is customers are ordering online and then they ship to themselves and then they turn around and ship out to their family,” Boggs said. “The package volume has definitely increased.”
Boggs said the post office has been almost overwhelmingly busy this holiday season.
“Our busiest at our front counter is Monday,” Boggs said the Thursday before Christmas. “But it has not slowed down yet. Even today there are people like crazy mailing these packages.”
Boggs said in the back, mail volume began increasing just before Thanksgiving with companies sending out catalogs and advertisements.
She said the amount of Christmas cards they have sent leading up to Christmas this year has been “astronomical.”
“People have been bringing in hundreds of cards at a time,” Boggs said. “It’s been great for us.”
Residents who come to the post office said they enjoy sending mail and packages during the holidays each year.
“I send Christmas cards, the traditional cards, in the mail,” Norma Kirby, of New Richmond said. “It’s a good way to keep in touch with people you don’t see.”
Brenda Murray, of Bethel, said she sends cards as well as packages.
“I have a son in Utah, I send all their gifts,” Murray said.
Murray said she always sends cards and packages each year even with technology that allows for quicker communication.
“Tradition does go on, it is a fact,” Murray said about Christmas mail.
She said the reason she prefers using the post office to send mail during the holidays is because of tradition, and the fact that she can easily sent things to her loved ones.
Boggs said many people definitely still love sending things through the mail during the holidays.
“Everyone still seems to be in the spirit,” Boggs said.“Everyone in here has said this is more packages than we’ve seen in any year. It’s fantastic.”