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POSTAL SERVICE OFFERS TIPS ON HOLIDAY MAILING

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Dec. 3, 2002 – It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so the U.S. Postal Service is sending out some tips to make mailing cards and packages a bit easier.
For starters, send them as early as you can, V.I. Postmaster Louis A. Jackson said in a release.
To check on the Postal Service deadlines for holiday delivery, see "Christmas mail-by dates announced".
To calculate the postage to a given destination, visit the Postal Service Web site.
To avoid waiting in line to buy stamps at a service counter, try the post office vending machines. Another option is to have stamps delivered to your mailbox, by using the order envelope found at post office courtesy counters. You also can order them by calling (800) STAMP24, which is (800) 782-6724.
For those who wait until the last minute to mail, the Postal Service offers various types of delivery that are quicker (and more expensive) than regular mail. Global Express Guaranteed can provide delivery in as little as two days, depending on destination. Global Priority Mail lets you ship up to 4 pounds within four days to many destinations. Express Mail International Service is another fast way to ship, Jackson said.
He also had a few tips to make sure packages and cards get to their intended destinations in a timely manner and in good condition:
– Neatly write, type or print the complete address, including Zip Code for U.S. destinations. Provide your return address. If you don't know the recipient's Zip Code, you can find that on the USPS Web site, too.
– Use a box that is strong enough to protect the contents and has enough space for cushioning materials. Packages weighing more than one pound must be mailed from a post office service counter. (This is a security regulation. If you drop them in a mail-collection box, even with adequate postage, they'll be returned.) If you can't scare up a box and packaging materials, you can buy them at any post office.
– Don't install batteries in toys or gifts before mailing them. An item could turn itself on during shipping, thereby using up the batteries and possibly burning out the motor.
An aide to Jackson said he was off island on Tuesday and could not be reacher for further comment.

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