Monday marked the busiest day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service, and it was no exception here in the Quad Cities.
"It's been a steady line all day, definitely," said Rock Island Postmaster Deb Droz.
Nationally, the Postal Service expected to process 655 million pieces of mail Monday. At Rock Island's 11th Street post office, that meant thousands of packages went out, as opposed to the usual hundreds.
For workers, it's the day they prepare for with extra staff, extra pickups at area mailboxes, and some extra holiday cheer.
"We've got the holiday music going, everybody's got packages that they're delivering, so it is stressful in the manner that you know there's a lot more workload for them, but everybody enjoys this time of year," said Droz.
Times are changing, though, even for an organization entering its 237th Christmas season.
"We're seeing less Christmas cards that we're delivering, but we're seeing more packages where people are shopping online, so it's been a change in our workload," said Droz.
In fact, the Postal Service is expecting a record-breaking 20 percent increase in packages this year. To get those packages to their destination on time, Droz offers these tips: check your mailing addresses, write clearly, don't wrap boxes in brown paper bags, and don't use string which can get caught in machines.
"They like seeing the customers receive the packages, the Christmas cards, everything they're mailing out, so that really helps with the stress level. Everybody likes seeing the happy faces of their customers," said Droz.
If you didn't make it to the mailbox Monday, it's still not too late. Droz said priority mail sent out Tuesday should still reach anywhere in the U.S. by Christmas. For a little extra cash, express mail sent by Friday will make it as well.