The Rush is On for Holiday Mailing

It's a sure sign the holidays are here, long lines at the post office. But there are some new options this year for those of you who want to avoid the long wait. Thanks to some new postal technology, this year it might actually be different. Postal officials hope a new machine will speed things up. It's called an automated postal center. 24 hours a day, you can weigh your cards and packages, print postage, pay with a credit card, and be on your way. Another option for avoiding the lines is where you can buy and print postage and arrange for packages to be picked up from your home.

If you're going to mail the old fashioned way, remember that the busiest times of day are before and after work and during lunch. If you procrastinate anyway, as many of us will, the absolute last day to use regular mail within the U.S. is Monday the 20th if you want it there by Christmas.