The deadline for getting things in the mail to ensure Christmas delivery is…today. The post office’s Richard Watkins has a few tips for folks still wrapping and packing. He says don’t use string, tape them well and get good packing tips from the people at your local post office. Watkins says you should always put an extra return-mail address inside, just in case a package is damaged or opened in transit. A card might be delayed or even returned if it’s oversized, a non-standard shape, or even the wrong color.The Post Office has been working for years with manufacturers to fix those problems, because a dark red or green envelope, for example, can’t be read by the automated equipment. As for packing tips, Watkins advises using lots of strong packing tape and padding your package well with crumpled newspaper or packing peanuts so things don’t “rattle around.”He says as fun as it is for the recipient trying to figure it out, it means the gifts inside will shift and could be damaged. You may have a little more time, as Watkins admits the volume of mail is down a bit nationally since October’s anthrax scare.Watkins says there are post offices in 39-thousand communities across the country. To avoid the lines, he says your best bet is to mail early in the day, and early in the week.