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Holiday mailing tips

October 23, 1997

The U.S. Postal Service offers the following holiday mailing tips:

* Always use complete address information, including the apartment or suite number, correct abbreviations such as "N," "SW," "Ave.," and "Blvd.," and correct ZIP code. Local post offices and the Postal Service Web site offer ZIP code information.

* Always use a return address when mailing cards, letters or packages.

* Use filament tape for sealing packages for mailing; make sure that contents are well padded and the box is sturdy. The only writing on the outside of the package should be the addresses of the sender and the intended recipient.

* To avoid waiting in line for holiday stamps, buy them by the end of October. You also could buy them by phone (1-800-782-6724), by mail, from postal vending machines and from ATM bank machines.

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* If you're really late, you can spend the extra money and mail by Express Mail, which has guaranteed overnight service 365 days a year.

* You can use the Postal Service's Internet Web site - http://www.usps.gov - for help in calculating postage costs for mailings and ZIP code information.

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