Christmas may be 10 weeks away, but local post office officials say it's never to early to mail packages--especially if they're destined for overseas.
Local residents who want to avoid the holiday crunch and ensure that their packages arrive in time for Christmas should for try to send them in November, Santa Ana Division General Manager/Postmaster Hector G. Godinez says.
There are a number of ways to ship the Christmas packages, and each has a different deadline.
Those sending parcels by surface mail to military personnel in Australia, the Far East and Southeast Asia should do so by Nov. 2, Godinez said. That is also the deadline for packages traveling by surface mail to civilians in Africa.
Overseas Military Mail
Packages leaving by Space Available Mail from the continental United States to overseas military personnel should be sent in early to mid-November. SAM packages travel part of the way over surface transportation and are then flown overseas on a space-available basis.
Parcel Airlift Mail, which "can weigh up to 30 pounds and measure up to 60 inches in combined length and girth," costs the regular Parcel Post rates. But there is an additional air service fee of 30 cents for packages of up to two pounds, 60 cents for those weighing two to three pounds, 90 cents for parcels of three to four pounds and $1.20 for anything else up to 30 pounds. These should be sent out in late November or early December, Godinez said.
Additional Air Service
Priority Mail, which can weigh 12 ounces to 70 pounds, should be sent by Nov. 23 for Australia, Southeast Asia and Central and South America, and Dec. 7 for those going to Alaska, Hawaii, Iceland and the Caribbean.
Two two-day delivery services, Express Mail Military Service and Express Mail International Service for civilians overseas, are also options. Express Mail Military Service and PAL packages can be sent to Army or Air Force post offices and Fleet post offices overseas.
For more information, Godinez suggested calling your local Post Office.