If you still have a few people on your list that you haven't purchased gifts for yet, this Wednesday is Free Shipping Day. Nearly 800 businesses are taking part across the nation. They are all listed on the Free Shipping Day website.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends shipping items by this Friday at regular rates to ensure Christmas delivery. Items can be shipped at higher rates of Priority Mail and Express Mail by Dec. 23rd for Christmas arrival.

To avoid the crowds, use the shipping kiosk at post offices. Prepaid labeling and ordering of boxes and envelopes can be done from home online at

Store gift cards should be shipped in padded envelopes, and have to be mailed Friday to make it for Christmas. Make certain that address labels are legible.

Monday was expected to be the busiest shipping day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service, with some 660 million pieces of mail being processed.

Postal officials said overall mail volume was up 12 percent from last year.

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