SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Christmas is only 15 days away, and local post offices are taking on the holiday rush. They hope to ease the stress on its employees and help procrastinating customers.

It is that time of the year again, local post offices are extremely busy trying to keep up with the busy shopping and shipping season.

Ethan Bross of Greenfield told 22News, “Its important to make a plan. You need to have a plan every year. I think I am going to freestyle it and then I get to December and I realize I’m coming up short.”

At the Springfield Distribution Center on Fiberloid Street, crews are working overtime. The Postal Service recommends shipping your items as early as possible this year.

Here’s a few dates to keep in mind. If your holiday packages need to get to their destination before Christmas, get it out by December 15th. Also, your holiday cards should sent out by December 17th.

Steve Doherty from Springfield USPS Distribution Center told 22News to think of the song “Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music when preparing your packages, “Julie Andrews one of her favorite things, she tells you brown paper packages tied up with strings. We prefer a nice solid box with packing tape, it’ll get through the system a lot easier.”

This year, USPS beefed up their system to handle the holiday demand with more machines and employees.

“You just need to have a plan, you have know when it is and you have to send it out before,” Iggy Passiglia of Greenfield said.

Why have holiday tears when you can have holiday cheer by getting everything signed sealed and delivered, early.

The U.S. Postal Service has extended holiday hours beginning this weekend. They vary depending on location.