KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Monday marked the busiest mailing day of the holiday season for the U. S. Postal Service.
The service expects it will process more than 600 million pieces of mail nationwide.
This holiday season, it expects to deliver 14.7 billion cards and letters and 420 million packages through Christmas day.
The Cedar Bluff location already had a line stretching to the door. Even the normally faster self-service kiosk was backed up.
The North Broadway location wasn't as busy and that was welcome news for Jean Smith.
"At this post office, it really doesn't get that bad," said Smith. "I was amazed at how fast they are."
Smith, like many others, says she ships about half of her gifts each year.
"My grandson had a little thing on Facebook saying he made the best pancakes in the world and I said not until you've had maple syrup and he sent back and said it's too expensive so he's getting maple syrup," said Smith.
Smith dropped off that syrup in plenty of time, but if you want to make sure your gifts also get to where they're going by Christmas, here are the dates you'll want to know:
Dec. 20: First-Class Mail
Dec. 21: Priority Mail
Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express
The deadline for parcel post has already passed.
If you are planning to ship a gift for the first time this year, experts have some advice.
"Shop and ship early," said Smith.
To help expedite your trip the Post Office says you can print labels and fill out certain forms online at their website before coming in.
The busiest delivery day for holiday cards and letters will be Dec. 18, and the busiest delivery day for packages will be Dec. 19.