LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The United States Postal Service is in its busiest week of the year, and with less than a week until Christmas, deadlines are quickly approaching to mail last-minute gifts.
Dec. 20 is the recommended send-by date for first-class delivery by Christmas Day. It's also the deadline for two-day shipping through FedEx and UPS two-day shipping. December 21st is the deadline for priority mail.
"We are working very hard to get people their packages this holiday season," USPS customer relations coordinator Gene Barton said.
To ensure every package is received in a timely manner, USPS has a strategic system.
The USPS plant gets parcels broken down by station. Once delivered, clerks will sort and distribute them for carriers in hampers, then carriers load those into their trucks.
"We're in every neighborhood every day," USPS letter carrier Matthew Richter said. "We have a repertoire with our customers every day. we deliver this and we're playing Santa Claus."
One facility in Summerlin alone delivers, on average, about 15,000 to 16,000 packages a day during the holiday season. Nationwide, some post office deliver about 28 million packages a day.
Richter has been a letter carrier in the valley for about 33 years. During the holiday rush, he likes to leave a little candy cane on each package he delivers.
"It's nice to know that when we're delivering these packages they are for Christmas, they are a gift," Richter said. "They are presents. So its just a little something to say Merry Christmas."
Richter says regardless of what time of year, small gestures go a long way for any letter carrier.
"A nice smile or a warm gesture goes a long way when making someone's day."