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With the holiday rush, post offices expect their busiest day of the year

December 14, 2009 |  2:51 pm

It may not have been "black Friday," but post offices across Southern California looked a bit like holiday-crazed shopping malls today.

The U.S. Postal Service said today is expected to be the busiest day of the year as people attempt to get holiday gifts shipped in time for Christmas.

Traditionally, the USPS sees 830 million pieces of mail on this day -- 40% above average volume. According to postal officials, the USPS delivers 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages during December.

Here are some holiday shipping tips from the post office:

--Make sure packages are able to withstand processing without the contents or packaging breaking.

--Cushion items with bubble wrap, newspaper or foam peanuts so they do not shift during transit.

--Close and shake the box to see if there is enough cushioning. If items are shifting, add more cushioning. Remove batteries from electronic devices and wrap separately.

--Wrap each item separately when packing more than one item in the same box. Always use tape designed for sealing shipping boxes.

--Do not use string, cellophane and masking tape to seal packages.

--Place an extra address label with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

--Packages can weigh up to 70 pounds and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and width. Make sure the width is measured around the largest point of the package.

-- Shelby Grad

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