Holiday mail for military deadline Thursday

Published 10:53 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2003

By By JOANNA ARNETT / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Sometimes, in the rush of finding holiday deals, hiding presents from prying little eyes, and whipping up treats, you may forget an essential part of your chores: Getting out your holiday hellos.
E-mail may be the fastest way, but snail mail will certainly touch the heart, especially if someone dear to you is in the military and overseas during this time of war.
Tom Principe, Postmaster for the Niles branch of the United Postal Service, located at 741 Broadway, explains the process of sorting mail in the next few frenzied weeks.
Suggested mailing dates for military mail are, for first class or priority mail, by tomorrow, Dec. 4 for Christmas delivery. All other mail should be mailed by Dec. 11 to be received by Christmas.
Principe added there are no extra holiday charges, but regrettably, there are no discounts, either.
Besides the holiday guidelines, there are other precautions one should take when mailing packages.
At the least, be sure to blacken out or thoroughly cover up confusing words or markings if you need to use that box.
Lines at the post office are getting longer and longer. Marie Cunningham of Granger, Ind., was visiting her sister, Elsa Broughton of Niles and decided to swing by the post office to drop off some early Christmas cards.
The Cunninghams also have a grandson, Dale Anderson of Buchanan, who is serving overseas.
The United States Postal Service's website advises people to include a card describing the contents. Batteries can be turned on enroute, so it is best to remove batteries from items and wrap them separately. Keep in mind that desert temperatures often exceed 100 degrees and it is always a good idea to double wrap boxes.
Also, to avoid any unnecessary conflicts, be sure to not send the following items to overseas troops:
For more information about safely mailing your letters and packages, visit