Postal Service workers in Iowa and around the country will be putting in some extra hours this week. U.S.P.S spokesperson Richard Watkins says today will be their busiest day of the year.

“We expect more than 800 million cards, letters and packages to be mailed nationwide,” Watkins said. “On a typical Monday, we’d expect 559 million.” Many mail sorting centers in Iowa have hired extra help through the holiday period.

Watkins says managers of the state’s largest mail sorting center in Des Moines expect nearly one-million cards and letters to be postmarked today – twice the amount on a typical Monday. Iowans who want their Christmas cards and letters to arrive at their destination by the holiday should send those items today.

Watkins says the deadline for packages is Tuesday, if sent via priority mail, or Wednesday with the express mail option. Postal Service customers can print postage and shipping labels and schedule home pickup of packages online at