With Christmas fast approaching, the rush is on to get cards and packages in the mail so they arrive on time.
Monday was the busiest mailing day of the holiday season for the U.S. Postal Service.
Carole Santos was caught by surprise when she found herself waiting in a long line just to mail her mortgage payment at the main post office on Perrin Beitel Road. She had no idea it was one of the busiest mailing days of the year.
"I really didn't expect it to be this bad," Santos said. "I've already done my shipping. I did it last week, so I didn't realize everybody waited this long, but that's me."
There was a steady -- but fast-moving -- line of customers at the main branch of the post office, according to Becky Martinez, customer relations coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service.
Martinez said the last minute hustle and bustle hits at the same time every year.
"It's like this throughout the city, so we've been really busy," Martinez said. "A lot of people did their shopping over the weekend so they come in Monday and they're ready to get them out to their relatives."
Nationwide, the Postal Service estimated it would process 600 million pieces of mail Monday, including nearly 15 billion cards and 420 million packages.
Local offices were just as busy.
"We normally process about 6 million pieces of mail on average during the year," Martinez said. "Once Thanksgiving comes, it kicks up to about 10 million and tonight we're expecting about 11 million pieces processed."
To speed things up, the post office has self-serve kiosks at all of its offices that are open for business 24 hours a day. Maria Bish said she loves the added convenience.
"I came here to deliver some stuff for my kids, one is in the Air Force and another one is in the Marines," Bish said. "It worked really good for me. It makes things a lot easier for all of us and it saves me all the time."
If you didn't get your packages in the mail on Monday, don't worry you still have some options.
You can still get your gifts delivered by Christmas if you use First Class Mail, the cut off is Dec. 20.
The deadline for Priority Mail is Dec. 21 and for the real procrastinators, you can use Priority Mail Express until Dec. 23.