Busy day for mail carriers on the last delivery day before Christmas

Many people made a mad dash for last minute gifts on Christmas Eve. It was also a busy day for postal carriers, their trucks brimming with packages.

“The packages are where we really make a difference,” said Bob Carlson, a carrier in Eden Prairie. “We're running a lot of times two or three loads out of packages a day, trying to keep up.”

It’s a familiar routine for Carlson, who has been delivering mail for 30 years.

“This is probably about the worst time of the year, because we get the snow and all the packages and stuff like that,” Carlson said.

But this winter has been relatively kind to Carlson and his fellow carriers so far. It’s a good thing, because they're delivering a lot more packages this year. On Dec. 19 alone, the U.S. Postal Service processed an estimated 611 million pieces of mail, a new record.

Carlson is among those working extra hours, and even on his day off, to help meet the demand.

“My customers I can't complain about. I've got really good customers,” he said. “You get to stay on a route long enough, you get to see the kids grow up, go to college, stuff like that. It's kind of like it's another little family.”

There will be some Priority Express Mail deliveries on Christmas Day, but there will be no deliveries on Monday, because that is the observed holiday. Carlson does expect another rush next though, because of post-Christmas shopping.