From holiday cards to Christmas presents, the last few months of the year are the busiest times for the postal system. The US Postal Service (USPS) typically handles more than 425 million pieces of mail each day, but this increases significantly once the holiday season arrives. Last year, the agency accepted more than 13.2 billion letters, cards, flats and packages for delivery between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. As we head into the 2022 holiday season, the Postal Service is already making some major upgrades for customers. Read on to find out what the USPS is planning for the holidays.
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Americans are already aware of one change in their holiday mail, and it’s not a festive change. Last August, the Postal Service announced that it had submitted notice to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of plans to temporarily raise rates for the 2022 holiday season. The People’s Republic of China has since agreed to a rate adjustment — so starting October 2, it could Your shipping costs increase from 25 cents to $6.50 per package, “depending on the weight of the package and the distance you have to travel,” Washington Post explained.
The increased rates will remain in effect through January 22 and are in line with temporary holiday rate increases that the USPS has implemented in 2020 and 2021. These additional expenses will “help cover additional handling costs to ensure a successful peak season,” the agency said. In her press release.
But while you may have to pay a little more, the Postal Service is now revealing a major upgrade for your holiday mail.
Your holiday mail can be decorated in a new way this year. The USPS issued a press release on September 22, notifying customers of the new Christmas stamp. During an dedication party at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, the agency unveiled its new Christmas Forever “Virgin and Child” stamp. The seal features a famous 16th-century oil painting of the same name.
“I am honored to represent the Postal Service as we dedicate a Christmas stamp featuring one of the most revered images in the world - the Virgin Mary holding her infant child, Jesus,” Jenny OtterbackDeputy Chief of Organizational Development for Postal Services said at the opening ceremony. ‘It’s a beautiful piece of art, with a special meaning at this time of year. I choose my holiday cards carefully, sign them with love or best wishes, and may write a personal note inside. Holiday cards are a special way to connect with family and friends. Circumstance matters, too.”
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This isn’t the only new holiday stamp the USPS has revealed for the 2022 season. The agency introduced three more prints this month, including a Hanukkah edition and one for Kwanzaa. The Postal Service explains that Hanukkah seal art “features an original hanging on the wall” was “hand-dyed, decorated, and lined to form an abstract image of Hanukkia, the nine-branched candelabra used only in Hanukkah.”
The USPS says the design of the Kwanzaa stamp “depicts two children - a girl and a boy - standing side by side with a kinara (candle holder) and seven lit candles (mishoma saba) in front of them”. “They wear robes that resemble spiritual clothing. A light blue circle behind the children’s heads represents the perfection and unification of forms, and the background is framed by mosaic motifs.”
The third is a stamp depicting artwork of four “whimsical Holiday Elves preparing candy and toys for holiday gift giving” according to USPS. All four new Forever stamps are sold on the Postal Service website as a picture of 20 for $12, Virgin and Child stamps and Holiday Elves are available to order now.But the Kwanzaa and Hanukkah stamps are only available for pre-order, and will become available on October 13 and October 20, respectively.
Getting ready for the holiday season is at the forefront of Postal Service thinking right now. According to a September 12 press release, the agency is “actively recruiting [an] 28,000 additional seasonal employees “to help cover the increase in mail delivered during the holiday season. This includes an additional 1,000 truck drivers across the country, as well as letter carriers and processing team members,” the USPS said.
“Successful holiday delivery is the cornerstone of our 10-year plan for Delivery for America,” Postmaster Louis Dejoy He said in a statement. “With 655,000 postal service women and men, recent investments and operational accuracy improvements, we are ready to be the most used delivery service provider this holiday season.”