SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Along with Christmas, comes Christmas cards. And along with Christmas cards, comes the United States Postal Service. 

The holidays have always been a busy time for the postal service, as you can see from a KELOLAND News story in 1977 about the busy holiday post office. 

Last year, the USPS delivered more than 1.1 billion packages over the holiday time frame. 

USPS spokesman Mark Inglett said this year the postal service is operating under the “Delivering for America” plan created in March 2021.

“That’s provided a lot of opportunities for us to stay well ahead of the game this year,” USPS spokesman Mark Inglett told KELOLAND News. 

The USPS reported through Oct. 1 to Nov. 26, First-Class Mail was delivered on time 91.1 percent of the time. Inglett said the USPS installed 112 new processing machines across the country as part of the “Delivering for America” plan. He said the machines can process 3,200 packages per hour.  

“That’s over 25,000 packages in an eight-hour tour,” Inglett said. “You get into our network and we’re going to take really good care of you.” 

Inglett also said the USPS has leased 46 annexes within five miles of large processing facilities. 

“That helps us with transportation and to avoid bottlenecks,” Inglett said. “We’re ready to go.” 

USPS holiday deadlines.

Holiday shipping deadlines for the USPS were announced for expected delivery ahead of Christmas. For retail ground service, the deadline is Dec. 15, while First-Class Mail is Dec. 17 and Priority Mail Service is Dec. 18. 

“If I’m getting a Christmas card, I want to hear from you now, so I put it on my fireplace,” Inglett said. “If I’m getting a package, I can put it under the tree.” 

The final USPS deadline is Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express Service. 

“Why wait?” Inglett said. “Let’s get those Christmas cards on the mantle and those presents under the tree and mail now.”