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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Time to start planning Christmas mail

By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer

It is already too late to send a Christmas package by surface mail from Hawai'i to most of the rest of the world, and the rest of the annual recommended mailing deadlines for the season are beginning to arrive.

If you want to send a package by surface (boat) mail to the Mainland in time for Christmas, you'd better do it before next Wednesday, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

That's also the deadline for lowest-level mail from Hawai'i to most military APO/FPO addresses around the world.

After that, the most important dates for most Hawai'i residents are these deadlines for mail to reach Mainland destinations by Christmas:

  • Dec. 17 for priority packages.
  • Dec. 18 for first-class cards and letters.
  • Dec. 21 for express mail packages.

Postal Service spokeswoman Lynne Moore said Nov. 15 is the first big deadline for international air mail, from Hawai'i to the Middle East; and first-class mail to military addresses in the Middle East must be sent by Nov. 20.

Nov. 27 is the suggested last date for international air mail from Hawai'i to most foreign countries, except for Dec. 4 deadlines for most of Asia.

The only military-address mail from Hawai'i deliverable after many November deadlines for different countries will be that sent to Guam, which has a Dec. 6 suggested last date for first-class cards and letters and express mail packages.

First-class Christmas cards and letters mailed within the state should be dropped in the mail box by Saturday, Dec. 21, to get delivered by Christmas Day, which falls on a Wednesday this year.

Express mail remains the last refuge for procrastinators, who will be able to use it as late as Monday, Dec. 23, to mail a package to someone in Hawai'i in time for Christmas.

The postal service hopes most residents mail their cards, letters and packages well before the deadlines and before long lines form at post offices, Moore said.

Patrons may double-check suggested last dates for their mail when they arrive at post offices, but the best advice is to heed published deadlines and send holiday mail as early as possible, Moore said.

Reach Walter Wright at wwright@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8054.