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USPS recommends holiday shipping dates

Postal service also running letters to Santa program for Hawaii keiki

The Maui News

The U.S. Postal Service recommended that Hawaii residents mail first-class and priority packages to the Mainland by Dec. 15 to give them their best chance of arriving by Christmas.

The postal service released a list of suggested dates for mailing letters, cards and packages from Hawaii to various destinations, including:

• American Samoa, military APOs and FPOs, international: First class and priority by Friday, priority express by Dec. 14.

• Guam and Saipan: First class and priority by Dec. 11, priority express by Dec. 18

• U.S. Mainland: First class and priority by Dec. 15, priority express by Dec. 21.

• Hawaii: First-class and priority by Dec. 19, priority express by Dec. 21.

Dates apply to mail received by each post office’s cutoff time.

Customers should keep in mind that the suggested dates are not deadlines. If normal holiday conditions prevail, chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas, though mailing volumes and weather will ultimately determine delivery times.

Hawaii has 16 self-service ship and mail centers statewide that include kiosks allowing customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for postage and conduct other transactions without standing in line to see a clerk. In Maui County, the Kihei, Lahaina and Wailuku post offices offer the self-service centers open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Also this year for the first time, Hawaii keiki can participate in the USPS Operation Santa letterwriting program, which allows volunteers to “adopt” letters and fulfill Christmas wishes by sending gifts in Santa’s place.

Participants should write a letter to Santa, put it in a stamped envelope with a return address and send it to the USPS Operation Santa address: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888. Writers must stamp and address their letters correctly and include a return address. They should also list specific wishes, including sizes, styles, colors, titles and names.

Letters will be accepted through Dec. 15 and available for adoption beginning Friday.

Hawaii residents can go online to adopt letters, which can be filtered by state.

For more information, visit USPSOperationSanta.com.

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