With the peak of the holiday season around the corner, officials with the United States Postal Service are reminding residents to get holiday gifts and care packages mailed as soon as possible.

USPS spokesperson David Rupert says deadlines are fast approaching for Dec. 24 arrival for most military and international locations.

“If you’re sending mail overseas, you have to get that going pretty quickly,” Rupert said. “You have to get it in the mail by Dec. 3 for most international destinations.”

“If you have a (package for a) military member, we’ve set a deadline of Dec. 10 - get those packages into those APOs and FPOs as soon as possible,” Rupert said.

Packages mailed within the continental United States will likely reach their final destinations by Dec. 24 if mailed by Dec. 20.

Rupert says USPS customers can expect post offices across the country to be busy through the remainder of the holiday season.

“It’s prime time for the Postal Service,” Rupert said. “A large part of our business will be in the next few weeks - in fact, we expect 18 billion pieces of mail to be processed between now and New Year’s Day.”

Prior to shipping, Rupert recommends all packages be secured tightly and labeled properly.