The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. The service recommends the following mail-by dates to ensure that gifts arrive on time for Christmas Day.
Dec. 10: Military mail for other overseas bases. (Dec. 3 was the recommendation for military mail destined for Afghanistan.)
Dec. 15: Parcel post.
Dec. 20: First-class mail.
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Dec. 21: Priority mail.
Dec. 22: Express mail.
For more about holiday services from the Postal Service, go to USPS.com/2011holidaynews.