Reno-area postal workers will handle an estimate 20 million pieces of mail this holiday season. That means long days for letter carriers like Donna Eich, but she says she enjoys making deliveries in December. “This time of the year every body's happy to get the mail,” she explains “because it's a card, a letter or a package, and it's hearing about family.”
Loaded down with Christmas cards and packages, she walks briskly through a Southwest Reno neighborhood making deliveries. Despite her breakneck pace and sometimes harsh winter conditions, Eich will spend nearly 7 hours walking her route on the days leading up to Christmas. That’s because she will have to deliver twice her normal workload. In fact, letter carriers around Reno will handle a combine 1.8 million pieces of mail per day during the peak holiday season.
As many people begin to argue the merit of sending virtual greeting cards in lieu of the real thing, Eich says the popularity of paper cards does not seem to be waning. She says she and coworkers have a running competition to see whose route will have a single customer giving or getting the most Christmas cards in a day. “Today I had one customer who got 42 cards.” she marveled.
Thursday was the deadline to send cards and gifts by express mail for holiday delivery. There will be no regular mail service on Saturday, but items shipped by express mail will be delivered on Christmas day. Postal officials say last year they did experience a drop in demand for service during the holidays, which may have been due to the lagging economy. This year, they say, that demand has stabilized.