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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December 2004, 06:31 GMT
Royal Mail's Christmas rush
Christmas post
Delivery deadlines are fast approaching
This year, the Royal Mail expects that by Christmas day, it will have delivered more than two billion items.

And as it enters its busiest period the Royal Mail is offering customers some advice on how to make sure their post arrives on time.

Life won't be made any easier by the fact that the Royal Mail has come in for stiff criticism in recent months for failing to meet delivery deadlines.

  • Breakfast's Tim Muffett took a look behind the scenes at the Royal Mail sorting office in Greenford, Middlesex

  • And throughout this page we've provided some information about last posting dates for the UK and Europe, and for airmail and parcels.

    There are also links to the Royal Mail and Parcel Force who have provided complete information about the deadlines and different services available for services worldwide

    Last Posting Dates
    Christmas Post
    UK First Class - Tuesday 21 December
    UK Second Class - Saturday 18 December
    Standard Parcels - Wednesday 15 December
    Airmail - Western Europe Monday 13 December
    Letters to Santa - Thursday 16 December


    The Royal Mail is determined to keep customers happy this year, it has even issued a deadline of 16 December for letters to Santa which it says will be replied to. The address is:

    SAN TA1

    The Royal Mail has come up with some tips on sending your mail for Christmas.


    Posting early obviously reduces the strain on the mail, customers are also being asked to make sure they use the right service for whatever they are sending.

    It says valuables should only be sent using Special Delivery, and always make sure the postcode is correct and printed in capital letters.

    When sending packages, ensure you include your address so the item can be returned if necessary.

    Certain items cannot be sent abroad, for example, sending alcohol to Canada is not allowed, and always make sure you weigh your parcel so you pay enough postage to cover delivery.

    You can also check a postcode by visiting the Royal Mail's website from the link above.

    Customer Service Centre

    You can also get more help and information from the Royal Mail's Customer Service Centre: Monday to Friday 0800 to 1930 and Saturday 0800 1430:

    08457 740 740

    We also want to know what you think. Tell us your Christmas post stories

    Your E-mail address
    Where you live

    The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

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