LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- It is the busiest time of the year for the US Postal Service.
"I had to ship gifts to my kids who live in San Antonio, Texas" said Brian Ender, who mailed his gifts Monday afternoon.
For Ender, the Christmas shopping is complete and the gifts are on their way to his kids.
"We're done," Ender said. "Now we can just sit back and watch everyone open their stuff and enjoy the season."
But for Tom Merfeld and the postal workers, the hard work is just beginning.
"Most of our staff is working 10 to 12 hours a day," Merfeld said. "Bring two lunches cause you're gonna be here for a while."
The two Mondays before Christmas are the busiest of the year for most post offices.
"Postal Service's been keeping records for years," Merfeld said. "We know the exact dates when the mailing is going to be heavy."
With customers trying to get those last minute gifts to family and friends, workers process more than three times the typical volume of letters and packages.
"We don't have any delays," Merfeld said. "Obviously weather would have a bearing on that, but right now it looks good. If you get it here, we're going to get it there before Christmas."
And the hard work doesn't stop on December 25.
"We do have people working Christmas Day," Merfeld said. "I worked last Christmas. Trucks continue to come every day of the week, every day of the year."
But Tom says the busy days are worth it, knowing that families, like Brian's, can celebrate the season even though they're far apart.
And if you didn't get those packages mailed yet, there is still time. Priority mail takes two to three days, and express mail will get gifts to their destination by Christmas Eve, as long as they are sent by Saturday.
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