REDDING, Calif. -

The Post Office plans to offer special holiday hours in certain areas this Sunday, December 18th, for last-minute cards and packages.

With 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages to be mailed and delivered between now and New Year?s Day, certain post office locations will open to handle the load.

According to the USPS, the following offices will be open for business Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm:

  1. Redding Main Post Office, 2323 Churn Creek Rd.
  2. Red Bluff Post Office, 447 Walnut St.
  3. Chico Main Post Office, 550 Vallombrosa Ave.
  4. Marysville Post Office, 407 C St.

The following tips are offered from the Postal Service to ensure proper delivery during the holidays:

For customers needing sturdy, secure boxes, bubble wrap, mailing tubes, tape, envelopes and even greeting cards, Post Offices offer ReadyPost, the Postal Service?s exclusive line of pre-packaged shipping Services ? The Postal Service offers free Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes.

Shipping Basics ? Remove batteries from toys and other electronic devices. Wrap and place them next to the item in the mailing box. Customers should include the new batteries in the manufacturer?s packaging. ? Place a card inside the package that contains both the delivery and return addresses. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the mailing label become damaged or fall off. ? Include both ?to? and ?from? information on packages ? and only on one side. ? Always use a return address, which tells the Postal Service where to return mail if it cannot be delivered. ? Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. ? Do not reuse mailing boxes as they can weaken in the shipping process. ? Leave space for cushioning inside. ? Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. ? When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately. ? For Parcel Post packages using a customer-supplied box, the weight cannot exceed 70 lbs. and the combined length and width measurement must be 130 inches or less. Make sure the width is measured around the largest point of the package.

Envelope and Package Addressing Guidelines ? Print the complete address clearly. ? A complete address includes: ? The recipient?s name ? Post Office Box or street number ? Street name ? Suffix (Ave., St., etc.) ? Directional (N, S, E, W) ? Secondary address (apartment or suite number) ? City, state and 5-digit ZIP Code ? Example: 123 S. Main St. Apt 4, Washington, DC 20001

Never guess a ZIP Code. NO ZIP is better than a WRONG ZIP. Find the correct ZIP Code at usps.com ?Look Up a ZIP Code? or by calling 800-ASK-USPS.

The Postal Service recommends the following mail-by dates to ensure gifts arrive on time:

Dec. 15 - Parcel Post, the most economical shipping service Dec. 20 - First-Class Mail Dec. 21 - Priority Mail Dec. 22 - Express Mail Due to security requirements, packages bearing postage stamps and weighing more than 13 ounces must be presented to an employee at the retail counter of a Post Office and cannot be dropped in blue collection boxes.