It's starting.  We were at the Mall of America this past weekend and it took us half an hour to find a parking spot.  We waited in line to eat, make a purchase, pee and even to use the escalator.  We weren't doing any holiday shopping yet, but those that were are smart.  As long as they get the gift in the mail within the next couple of weeks they are ensured it will arrive before Christmas.  I know, I know it feels too early, but you'll be glad you did.  So, tall boy up, get shopping and giddy up!


When shopping look for a gift that will weather the shipping process.  Clothes and most toys are always a great bet.  Speaking of toys, if your toys or other electronic items need batteries don't send them 'inside" the device.  It may turn on during the mailing process and cause alarm, not to mention the batteries will be dead by the time they get to their destination.  Your best bet is to wrap them separately and ship them within the same box. Remember, some states have restricts on what can be mailed, check with your local postal service.

Of course, you could avoid the shopping, wrapping, packing and standing in line altogether and consider purchasing a gift online from a store that will ship it directly to the destination, just make sure you know the TOTAL price of the service before agreeing.

But, if you're the type of person that is into doing it yourself then make sure you do it right.  The right size box and one that is sturdy. There should be very little movement when you shake the box.  Your box will go through an automated process so avoid any tape or string on the outside that might get caught up in the machine.

The U.S. Postal Service suggests that you put the mailing information on an index card inside of the package in case the box is damaged or accidentally opens during transit.  Avoid confusion by making sure there is only one shipping label on the box, especially if it's a reused shipping box.

Now, don't procrastinate, so as I mentioned earlier get on it, get shopping and giddy up!