By Caroline Vandergriff

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you still have packages to send to family and friends for Christmas, the clock is ticking.

You only have a day or two to get them in the mail without having to pay more.

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“This is my last one,” said Kristi Davis, who made a trip to the post office Monday to send a gift to her in-laws. “I sent a bunch last week, and this is sort of a last minute.”

Post offices across the metroplex are being inundated this week by customers who want to make sure their packages make it under the tree on time.

“I’m going to get these in today, and hopefully they’ll get to my friends and family,” said Kaye Harmon. “Say a little prayer, and hopefully they will.”

A lot of shoppers started extra early this year because of supply chain issues that have caused shortages and delays in recent months.

“The post office has been really great,” said Marjorie Deichert, who runs an eBay shop and sends packages frequently. “I haven’t lost anything. Everything’s been on time.”

To ensure delivery by Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 15th is the deadline for USPS and FedEx ground shopping.

If you still have gifts to send after that, both carriers will have options, but it will cost you more.

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The UPS ground deadline varies, but by the 21st, you’ll have to pay for shipping by air.

Last December, the Postal Service delivered a record 1.1 billion packages. The number this holiday season is expected to be about the same.

USPS says it started preparing for the demand back in February and has hired 600 seasonal employees to work out of three North Texas distribution centers.

The postal service has also added new sorting machines to process packages faster.

“I have confidence everything’s going to go smoothly this year,” Deichert said.

Tomorrow is the average last day to order something online and have it arrive by Christmas with standard shipping. It just so happens to be Free Shipping Day as well.

Thousands of retailers plan to offer free shipping and the guarantee your items will make it under tree in time.

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This promotional event has been going on since 2008 and can help people finish last-minute holiday shopping without dealing with crowds.

Caroline Vandergriff