The volume of mail increases tremendously in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and in 2004 around 2.1 billion items were delivered by Royal Mail over Christmas. An estimated 135 million items were dealt with some days, so with that amount of post in the system, itís a certain fact that your two dozen Christmas cards are but a drop in the ocean!
To ensure that your Christmas cards reach their intended destination as quickly as possible, you can follow a few simple addressing guidelines. The sorting system is very much an automated process these days, so the easier your letters are for the system to read, the faster it will travel through the postal system.
Use clear legible writing if addressing by hand.
Always include the recipient's postcode.
For typed addresses, stick to machine readable fonts, such as Arial, Courier New and Helvetica.
Font size 12 is the most acceptable for typed fonts.
Address the front of the letter, ideally keeping the address parallel to the longest side of the envelope.
Always put your own return address on the back of the letter.
Never guess the postage Ė your recipient wonít thank you for a card if they are dragged from bed in the morning to pay the excess charges!
When posting abroad, always write the town and country in capital letters and do not abbreviate them, as it can cause confusion.
Everyone loves to get a letter but in this electronic age, the receipt of a letter has become something special for children. Why not make it even more magical for them this Christmas by arranging for them to receive a letter from Santa, one letter which is sure to light up their life.
Donít forget that Christmas is a great time to write to friends and family to keep in touch Ė just make sure you send it in time!
The last posting date for first class mail sent to the UK and Channel Islands this year is December 20th.