Don't panic! The Postal Service Can Help This Holiday Season

By on December 16, 2009 in Current Events with 0 Comments

Yesterday was my biggest greeting card delivery day so far this year. Eleven brightly-colored envelopes were in my mailbox, each filled with beautiful cards, informative letters and precious photographs.
 
One card, from my friend Carol in North Carolina, was especially creative. On the front was an image of Santa in front of a computer with the mouse under his right gloved covered hand. The screen was a photo of my friend. Inside were a letter and another photo. I was impressed.
 
When I flipped the card over to see where she had gone to create her greeting, I realized it was a Postal Service-generated card. She had used CardStore at www.usps.com/createmail/welcome.htm.
 
I knew about creating greeting cards by using personal photos and that there are dozens of card designs, but because I do my card preparation the “old fashioned” way, I didn’t realize the extend of how creative I could be by using this Postal Service tool.
 
Cards are printed and shipped the next business day or you can have the cards sent directly to everyone on your mailing list.
 
Another brand new offering from USPS is the special Priority Mail Flat Rate Gift Mailing Envelope. Each envelope is decorated with a holiday-themed bow, and includes a convenient slot inside for securing gift cards.
 
Available for expedited delivery service to domestic addresses at $4.95, the flat-rate Gift Mailing Envelope also makes a great way to send oversized greeting cards to friends and family members during the busiest gift-giving time of year.
 
The envelopes measure 10″ x 7″ and are available at most Post Offices.
 
In addition to the Gift Mailing Envelope, the Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope is available at $4.95 and measures 12 1/2" x 9 1/2".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other domestic flat-rate products:
  • Small Flat Rate Box, 8 5/8" x 5 3/8" x 1 5/8", $4.95
  • Medium Flat Rate Box, 11" x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2", $10.35
  • Medium Flat Rate Box, 13 5/8" x 11 7/8" x 3 3/8", $10.35.
  • Large Flat Rate Box, 12" x 12" x 5 1/2", $13.95. When shipping to military personnel at APO/FPO addresses overseas the shipping price is $11.95.
 
All Priority Mail and Express Mail packaging products are free at your local Post
Office or can be ordered online at usps.com.
 
I am always amazed when I see long lines at the Post Office. You can take care
of almost all your postal business from your home or office as long as you have a computer and Internet access.
 
By logging onto usps.com and using Click-N-Ship, for example, you can print shipping labels, receive an online discount for postage and purchase insurance, plus Delivery Confirmation is free on Priority Mail packages. Next-business-day pickup of Priority Mail packages is also free. Just notify your local Post Office at usps.com/pickup.
No need to stand in line to mail a package when it is easier to just stay home, print the label and let your carrier pick it up the next day — plus you save between 5 and 10 percent off the total shipping price.
 
So, don’t panic. A computer, holiday music in the background and a nice cup of hot chocolate — you’ll be ready for Santa in no time!

© 2016 Marilyn Jones. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Marilyn Jones.

About the Author

Marilyn Jones has been a journalist for more than 30 years and is currently a freelance feature writer specializing in travel. Her articles have appeared in major newspapers including the BostonGlobe, Akron Beacon Journal and Chicago Sun-Times as well as regional travel magazines.

Visit her website at travelwithmarilyn.com

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