MOULTRIE — Time is quickly running out to be sure items going through the mail reach their destination by Christmas Day.

Bobby Johnson, postmaster of the Moultrie Post Office, said packages being sent as Christmas presents will need to go out by next week. He recommends using the Post Office’s Priority Mail service, which will deliver the package within two to three days.

For those who wait until the last minute, Johnson said the Post Office does offer Express Mail guaranteed next day delivery. For packages that will be going to major cities only, there will be postal employees who will deliver those packages on Christmas Day.

“If you want to get a Christmas present home,” Johnson said, “it must go out Priority Mail by next week.”

For those sending Christmas letters and Christmas cards, Johnson said they need to be in the mail by Saturday, Dec. 19, to ensure delivery by Christmas Day. For those letters staying in Colquitt County, they can be dropped off by Wednesday, Dec. 23, to get them delivered by Christmas Day.

Every card and letter that comes into the Moultrie Post Office must first go to Albany for a postmark, Johnson said. It must also go through a biohazard detection center before being returned here.

The Moultrie Post Office will have its regular hours until Christmas Eve, when it will be open until noon, to accommodate customers, Johnson said. The busiest shipping day of the year was Monday, Dec. 14, and the Christmas season is expected to conclude by next Tuesday, Dec. 22, or Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Johnson said there are several items, including guns, ammunition, hazardous materials, alcohol, fireworks and combustibles that are unmailable. Anything being shipped in a box with a biohazard label either cannot be used or must first be wrapped in brown paper.

It is also recommended using heavy brown paper instead of regular wrapping paper for presents because Johnson said the wrapping paper does not hold up to the Post Office’s machines. He also recommends putting a shipping address on the inside and the outside of the wrapping. If a package cannot be identified or a recipient cannot be found after being searched by postal employees, it becomes dead mail.

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