What’s in your mailbox? In mine, there's hardly ever anything important. I'll get a couple of cards throughout the year, but most days, it's just filled with junk mail that goes straight to the trash.

The Washington Post says the average American gets 41 pounds of junk mail each year. That's a ton of unwanted stuff, but, as the holidays approach, there’s a good chance that you'll be getting something meaningful from friends and family. You might not get it on time though.

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Earlier this year, I heard from several people around town who said they hadn’t received mail for several days. While it seems like those problems have been mostly resolved, there's concern that the current system might struggle to keep up over the next six weeks.

Mail Carriers in Minnesota’s 3rd Largest City Will Struggle To Keep Up

United States Postal Service van parked on icy street
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The Post Bulletin published an article that says the Rochester postal service is “poised to 'fail gloriously' this winter.” The reason, according to the article, is the number of letter carriers in Rochester has dropped from 103 letter carriers in 2017 to just 85 today.

That’s a significant drop for a city that’s seen quite a bit of growth over the last 6-years. Fewer letter carriers trying to deliver to more mailboxes is a recipe for disaster. Especially around the holidays when there is a lot more stuff being sent.

This isn’t just a Rochester problem though. Cities around Minnesota are dealing with understaffed post offices. The United States Postal Service is actually trying to add temporary workers for the holiday season.

2023 USPS Holiday Shipping and Mailing Deadlines

Post Office Processes Final Mail For Xmas Deadline
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The USPS says, "The information below covers domestic, international, and military shipping destinations to allow for the timely delivery of cards, letters, and packages by Dec. 25."

  • USPS Ground Advantage — Dec. 16
  • First-Class Mail (including greeting cards) — Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail — Dec. 18
  • Priority Mail Express — Dec. 20

I really feel for postal workers; their job is tough, especially dealing with harsh winter conditions. It'd be nice if folks didn't wait until the very last moment to send things. Oh, and just so you know, officially, tipping mail carriers is a no-go, but they can accept gifts valued at up to $20.

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities in Minnesota

The team at Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing cities in Minnesota using the latest census data.

Gallery Credit: Troy Dunken

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