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The post office delivers: Embracing the hustle and bustle of the holiday season

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 00:12:20-05

SALT LAKE CITY — There are less than two more mailing days until Christmas, but that didn't stop present procrastinators from packing up their final boxes of Christmas spirit.

“Because it’s a homemade gift, I want to still make sure they get it for this year,” said post office customer Jennifer Frantz.

Get it by Christmas they will, but at a cost. A letter will cost you $25.50 to get there on time, compared to the obvious 55 cents.

“Whatever the guy tells me that will get it there by Christmas, then that’s what we’re doing,” Candice Tafuna said.

There’s even a special mailbox at several locations throughout the city for letters addressed to Santa Claus himself.

“We take all of those letters that children mail at their home, give to their carriers…We scan them, and then we send them to the North Pole for Santa to read,” said Margaret Putnam, manager of marketing for the U.S. Postal Service.

There is little to no limit for the post office. FOX 13 was taken behind the scenes of a huge facility to take a peek at the magic behind this well-oiled machine.

“So, when you drop a letter in the lobby, it comes down and shoots into these hampers,” Putnam said.

It's then taken to a sorting machine that categorizes 35,000 letters a minute, most using a bar code you probably never even noticed was there. And then...

“We put a sleeve on the trays so the mail doesn’t fall out, we assign it to a flight at the airport...and then we send it out onto the dock,” said Putnam.

From there, it travels by truck, plane, or both, to your doorstep; or of course, the doorsteps of your friends and family.

If you would like to be a "Santa’s Elf" and reply to a local child’s letter, you still have time and can find out how at