With shipping deadline gone, Minnesotans embrace low fuel prices this holiday season

As millions of people hit the roads and take to the sky for the holidays, millions of packages flood into the post office on their way to their destinations.

According to the post office, if you want your gifts to arrive by Christmas, you better hustle up.

The post offices are closed now, but tomorrow you’ll have to pay more for priority express to get it there by Christmas.

The good news is experts say our gas prices have already dropped 30 cents from last month, so that may help offset the cost.

“It is a very trying month for the post office,” said Sharmeen Brooks, a USPS letter carrier. “It’s a good thing ‘cause we’re bringing Christmas joy. I almost feel like Santa Claus.”

She’s been a letter carrier for roughly four years and in those four years has noticed her holiday workload skyrocket.

“I can go 12 hours on this route, just going back and forth with packages,” Brocks added.

The 900 million that are being shipped this year is an increase of 15 percent from last year.

“When I delivered a route 10 years ago, I would have three or four packages a day,” Brooks said. “Now, they have their packages, they fill the vehicles. Sometimes, they have to make double trips to get it all done.”

“It’s the winter time,” said Jason Brian of the United States Post Office. “No one wants to go out. And if you don’t have to go out and can get it brought to your door, why not? I know I’m guilty of it.”

If you’re one of the 102 million people hand-delivering that holiday cheer to your loved ones this season, the prices at the pump will be a nice little Christmas gift.

“We have reached the nation’s lowest point of the year,” said Meredith Terpstra, of AAA.

Just in time for Christmas, Minnesotans are seeing the cheapest gas of the year. In fact, it’s the cheapest holiday prices have been in two years.

“Part of the reason of why so many people are traveling for the season is that gas prices are so low, but there is also a higher disposable income. So it just makes sense that more people get to travel and see their friends and family for the holiday,” Terpstra said.

Sharmeen calls it her favorite time of the year.

“I love Christmas week. I truly appreciate everyone that orders their gifts, but I will be happy when Christmas week is over,” she said.

According to AAA, most people left yesterday for their holiday festivities, so you shouldn’t be fighting traffic tomorrow. If you’re a real procrastinator, or the holidays are catching up with you, the Post Office will be open on Monday with limited hours.