RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Santa may be able to wait until Christmas Eve to deliver his gifts, but the U.S. Postal System warns, the rest of us should not do the same. It’s the busiest time of year to use shipping services.

Richmond resident, Felisha Jones, frequented Richmond post offices over the past few months.

“I definitely think you have to get ahead of the crowd,” Jones said.

To mitigate the increased pressure placed on the postal system this time of year, U.S.P.S. hired 20,000 seasonal employees. From November through January, postal workers work earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings. Of course, this additional aid can’t entirely eradicate delays.

“They told me they may have a few delays,” Jones said.

Barring complications, the average amount of time it takes for a mailpiece or a package to be delivered is 2.5 days. While measures implemented during the busy season help foster smoother processes, they don’t reduce the amount of people flocking to the post office.

“There’s been times when the line was out the door,” Jones said.

Richmond resident, Sam Davis, told 8News, his local postal worker works above and beyond. Davis added that he hasn’t experienced significant complications mailing packages, cards, etc. this holiday season, but he has witnessed the how busy the season can get.

“Incredibly crowded,” Davis remarked. “I came yesterday in the pouring rain. The line was about 20 people long and it wasn’t moving very fast, so I left and came back today.”

People 8News spoke with at various postal sites throughout the day agreed, so far this holiday season, lines have been long, crowds have been somewhat large, but that a little bit of grace can go a long way this season of giving.

“Nobody can control the mail service,” Jones said. “So we have to definitely be patient this year.”

According to U.S.P.S., the recommended deadline to ship a package in order to ensure it arrives in time for Christmas is Saturday, Dec. 17. Of course, one can send a package later, but doing so would come with heightened prices. Read more here.