Tens of thousands of Iowans spent part of their weekend signing cards and addressing envelopes. U.S. Postal Service spokesman Richard Watkins says the Monday before Christmas is typically their busiest day of the year.

Watkins says to expect longer lines at the post office today. He says “The earlier in the week that they can get those cards and letters in the mail, the better for us, and in fact, the earlier in the day would be better also. Our peak running time for mail processing is in the afternoon and early evening hours.” Watkins says the Postal Service will likely process one-billion pieces of mail nationwide today — about three times the normal amount. He says people with items to mail don’t have to go to the post office today if they’d like to wait until tomorrow.

Watkins says “The more you literally push the envelope, so to speak, later in the week, the less chance there is of it getting there on time. For those procrastinators who want to wait until the last minute, of course there’s always Express Mail.” He says Iowans who have home computers can avoid much of the hassle.

Watkins says the Postal Service website, u-s-p-s-dot-com, features all sorts of conveniences, including stamps, shipping prices and mailing labels — plus, you can even create greeting cards on-line.