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Got mail?

Even though only a few days remain before Thanksgiving, those needing to send Christmas packages through the mail are being urged to make their preparations early to ensure a safe and timely arrival of those holiday presents.

Denise Williamson at the Andalusia Post Office said last year’s Christmas Eve is a prime example of “cutting it a little too close to the wire.”

“We were wrapping up things up on Christmas Eve when we got a last minute shipment in about 3 p.m.,” Williamson said. “To make sure the people of Andalusia got their presents in time for Christmas, we made a second round of deliveries that afternoon.

“That is a prime example of why ‘the earlier the better’ motto applies to mailing packages for Christmas,” she said.

Williamson said a good rule of thumb is as follows: “Priority mail usually takes two to three days. Express mail delivered anywhere in Alabama, that’s usually the next day, but to any other state, it’s usually second day delivery.”

And for those wishing to send packages to loved ones overseas, the U.S. Postal Service has set forth the following guidelines:

Express mail: Dec. 18 to all APO/FPO AE Zips, with the exception of APO/FPO AE Zip 093, where express mail is undeliverable.

First Class mail, letters and cards; Priority Mail; and Parcel Air Lift Mail: Dec. 11 to all APO/FPO AE Zips, with the exception of APO/FPO AE Zip 093, which is Dec. 4.

Space Available Mail: to all APO/FPO AE Zips, Nov. 28.

“By using those dates and guidelines, it not only ensures a speedy delivery, but it also allows for a more precise and accurate delivery — one that limits the possibility of errors,” Williamson said.

Williamson also reminded residents the post offices carries a variety of boxes to ship those holiday wares.