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NEWORLEANS - With eight more days until Christmas, Monday is expected to be the busiest day for the United States Postal Service.

Millions of letters and packages will be sent to arrive just in hopes of arriving for the holiday.

USPSestimates 18 billion mailings between Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day.

The main post office in downtown New Orleans expects to handle 770,000 pieces of mail on Monday. The number is down 25,000 pieces from 2011, and officials believe it is due to the economy.

In order for mail to arrive before Christmas, customers must meet certain deadlines, according to Sharon Varnado, the USPScustomer relations coordinator.

Thursday is the deadline for first class mail, Friday is the deadline for priority mail and Saturday is the deadline for express mail.

Most post offices will have extra personnel in order to handle the larger volume of customers.

One of the biggest delivery days is Wednesday.

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