FILE - A U.S. postal worker delivers packages, boxes and letters Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, along her route in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, just three days before Christmas. Some Christmas gift-givers discovered their presents didn’t arrive in time for the holiday despite ordering weeks ahead. The U.S. Postal Service says it faces “unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

FILE - A U.S. postal worker delivers packages, boxes and letters Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, along her route in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, just three days before Christmas. Some Christmas gift-givers discovered their presents didn’t arrive in time for the holiday despite ordering weeks ahead. The U.S. Postal Service says it faces “unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

‘Unprecedented’ mail volume delays Christmas gifts

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Some who mailed holiday presents weeks early this year found they didn’t act early enough as Christmas arrived with their gifts stuck in transit.

The U.S. Postal Service said on its website that it was “experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

Austin Race of Grand Rapids, Michigan, placed an online order Nov. 30 for a collector’s model die-cast of a NASCAR racing car. It hadn’t reached his father after the Postal Service passed through his neighbourhood Thursday night, even though he was notified Dec. 8 that it was shipped by two-day priority mail.

His gift was in Opa-locka, Florida, the last time he checked the tracking number, about 750 miles (1,200 kilometres) south of where he ordered it in Mooresville, North Carolina. Race, 21, resigned himself to telling his father he will have to wait a little longer for his gift.

“I do understand the situation, but it’s still kind of frustrating,” he said.

Joanna Goldstein ordered Christmas ornaments online Nov. 17 for her 10-year-old son’s soccer coach and her son’s friend. She figured it was ample time to arrive from a store about 80 miles (128 kilometres) from her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

All appeared well Dec. 11 when she received a notice from the Postal Service that the ornaments had been received in Columbus, Ohio.

But then the package made a journey through distribution centres in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Lansing, Michigan, before apparently getting stuck in Detroit.

On Wednesday, she received another notice that delivery would be later than initially anticipated. Her son was angry but Goldstein is taking it in stride.

“I was frustrated last week thinking, ‘C’mon, get here,’ but now I am just sort of laughing it off,” she said.

She told her son the ornaments will hang on the tree next year and they will have a story to tell about the long journey they took during the pandemic.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Students Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says she’s pleased the college is offering students a choice to attend class in-person or remotely. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Red Deer College winter term enrolment dips

Enrolment down about six per cent but mix of online and in-person instruction is going over well

Brett Salomons, of Salomons Commercial, and Mark Jones, CEO of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, in the CACAC's new temporary home. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre’s One Day Challenge returns

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre has announced its One Day Challenge is… Continue reading

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Body of worker whose bulldozer fell through ice on inactive tailings pond recovered

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a… Continue reading

A restaurant manager in Orlando used a sign to secretly ask an 11-year-old boy if he needs help from his family after they were spotted withholding food from him. (Photo courtesy Orlando Police Department)
WATCH: Restaurant manager uses secret note to ‘rescue’ child, says Orlando Police

The manager of an Orlando restaurant is receiving praise from police after… Continue reading

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will cripple struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A young snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged mountain trail on Vancouver's north shore Thursday has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snowshoer dies after overnight search on Vancouver-area mountain: RCMP

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged… Continue reading

nunavut
‘It was joyous:’ Sun returns to some Nunavut communities for first time in weeks

IQALUIT — A sliver of orange rose over Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, earlier… Continue reading

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Less pomp, very different circumstances as D.C. prepares to inaugurate Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON — Some pomp. Very different circumstances. Inauguration day is supposed to… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) and Nikolaj Ehlers (27) defend against Jansen Harkins (12) during scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Winnipeg Jets cancel practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have cancelled their practice today due to… Continue reading

Most Read