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Fact and figures on holiday mailing

Neither rain nor snow not heat nor gloom of night will keep the United States Postal Service from doing what it does best—pick up and deliver holiday mail and packages.

Between now and Christmas, the Postal Service will deliver 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages across the country and around the world, a task that requires more than 190,000 vehicles, including 142,000 half-ton trucks.

“The holiday season isn’t just the busiest time of the year for the Postal Service—it’s our best time of year,” said John E. Potter, Postmaster General and chief executive officer. “The Postal Service is gearing up for our annual mail delivery to the North Pole to help Santa and his elves get ready for the big day.”

The Postal Service expects to deliver more than 3 billion cards and letters over the holidays. This year, a postmark of Kermit the Frog will appear in the upper right-hand corner of holiday cards and letters mailed throughout the month of December.

The Postal Service also expects 97 million customers to visit the Post Office during the holidays, 30 million pounds of mail to be delivered to overseas military installations, including war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 2.11 billion holiday stamps to be printed.

The busiest mailing day was Monday, Dec. 14. More than 830 million cards, letters and packages should be mailed on that day alone, compared to 583 million on a typical day.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, was the busiest delivery day.