Making mailing merry
With Christmas only a week away, it's now or never to ship those holiday packages, unless you can make a deal with Santa for their delivery.
The Vineyard Haven post office is offering extended hours this Saturday, staying open from 9:30 am-3 pm instead of closing at 1 pm. The post office also will be open from 11 am-2 pm on Sunday, December 21, for package pickup only.
All other Island post offices keep normal hours.
Postal officials request that customers pick up packages promptly, as they are short on storage space with the crush of holiday mail.
They also advise mailing packages as soon as possible. Vineyard Haven postmaster Joe Massua said packages should be sent priority mail by December 20 for Christmas delivery. As of December 23, express mail will be the only choice.
For other shipping options, the UPS Store at 455 State Rd., Woodland Center, in Tisbury will be open 9 am-6 pm weekdays through December 23, from 9 am-4 pm Saturday, Dec. 20, and from 10 am-3 pm Sunday, Dec. 21.
The cut-off for UPS shipping by ground, the least expensive way to ship, is December 19 for deliveries in New England - it's too late to ship packages going to the West Coast or western states by ground for Christmas delivery. Those, and packages headed to New England destinations after the 19th, will have to be shipped three-day, second-day, or overnight, depending on the location.
The FedEx store at 15 North Line Rd., Airport Business Park, is open 11 am-2 pm and 3 pm-5 pm, Mon.-Fri. Self-service drop-off boxes are available at the Merchants Mart on State Road in Tisbury (cut-off time 4:30 pm), the Martha's Vineyard Airport, and the Whale Building on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven (cut-off time 3:30 pm).
According to a FedEx call center representative, the last day to ship packages by FedEx ground to the West Coast for holiday arrival was December 17. Packages going to a Massachusetts address can be shipped by ground as late as December 19. Packages shipped by FedEx express, which goes by air, can be shipped as late as Tuesday, Dec. 23.
The Mailroom@Edgartown, 243 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd., Triangle Plaza, in Edgartown is open Mon.-Fri. 8 am-6 pm, Sat. 8 am-4 pm, and Sun. noon-4 pm.
The Mailroom offers packing, shipping, and business services. Shipping by FedEx and UPS is available.