- Check out this list of restaurants open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in Naples
- David Sedaris play "The Santaland Diaries" offers a stocking full of goodies in Fort Myers
- Looking for something to do? Search our list of Holiday events
- Submit your holiday events to our interactive calendar
- Going out this holiday season? Share your photos from all the events around town with us!
- Wish Lists: Local charities offer up their wish lists to the community
- Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade
- Your Photos: Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade
- 2010 Bonita Springs Holiday Boat Parade
- Isles of Capri Holiday Boat Parade 2010
- Marco Island's Joy of Giving 2010
- Marco Island Christmas Street Parade 2010
- Christmas Walk and Avenue of Lights on Fifth Avenue South
- Flesher Farm Christmas display 2010
- Third Street South Festival of Lights
- Your Photos: Third Street South Festival of Lights
- Bayfront Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony
- Two-story gingerbread house at The Ritz-Carlton
COLLIER COUNTY — The shipping lines at the post office may take a little longer to get through than last year. Records show there has been a modest increase in volume this holiday season, according to Richard Barber, Naples postmaster.
“It just sort of mirrors the economy situation,” said Barber. “The economy looks like it’s slightly better than last year, so we’re seeing a slight increase in outgoing mail.”
Naples resident Karla Benz was hoping to beat the rush Thursday afternoon at the main post office on Goodlette-Frank Road to mail her holiday packages.
“I had thought that I would, but there’s a line here,” said Benz. “I’ll go to a smaller post office that’s not so busy.”
Those looking to avoid the crowds should try to visit earlier in the day or take advantage of the four automated postal centers, which are self-service, located at the main office, the Coco River branch and the postal store in the Pavilion Shopping Center, said Barber.
Anyone hoping to get their packages delivered in time for Christmas is advised to send them out as early as possible. While the U.S. Postal Service website, usps.gov, has shipping deadlines posted, Barber said the following deadlines are more realistic.
“I don’t want anyone in the mailing public to be lulled into a false sense of security because Christmas falls on a Saturday,” said Barber.
From today through Monday mail packages Priority Mail, and from Tuesday on send them Express Mail to ensure delivery by Christmas Day, said Barber.
“You have to consider the amount of mail in the mail-stream on that last Christmas week of mailing dates, and you have to consider the weather up north,” said Barber.
In addition to handling the holiday bustle a small contingent at the Naples post office makes a point to reply to every letter addressed to Santa Claus.
This year they have already responded to nearly 300 letters and will continue to do so through Christmas.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Barber. “We promise everyone that anything we get up to and including the 23rd of December, we’ll have that letter back to the child by Christmas Eve.”