The busiest day in the run-up to Christmas this year is expected to be Monday, December 12, Post Office data has revealed.

The day is expected to be the peak posting day as Brits rush to send cards, gifts and parcels from Post Office branches this winter.

In 2021, the two weeks before Christmas saw Post Offices more than double their trading activity and the company is expecting similar this year so it encourages customers to plan ahead and post their items early.

Recent research by Post Office showed that the biggest concern for customers is whether or not their gifts and cards are received on Christmas Day and whether an effort is seen to be made.

Runcorn and Widnes World: Post Office has released dataPost Office has released data (Image: Post Office)

According to the survey, the post Brits send this year could be different with one in six planning to send homemade gifts with the number one reason being to save money.

The poll of 2005 adults revealed that four in ten plan to shop using cash to buy presents this year and, of these, two-thirds will do this to help budget and keep track of their spending while a quarter is set to gift cash.

The research is a nationally representative study of 2,005 UK adults carried out by the Post Office in September 2022 and October 2022.

During the festive period last year, a record £801 million in cash was withdrawn at Post Office counters and that figure is expected to be surpassed this year.

The research also revealed that one in 10 have had a parcel rejected by the Post Office, reminding consumers that knowing what needs to be done to have a parcel accepted is a key part in having a smooth experience at a branch.

The most common reasons for being caught out were shown to be trying to send parcels containing batteries, parcels not being wrapped correctly and illegible writing.

Further research from Post Office revealed that although 10% would be willing to queue for an hour or more, the average time Brits would be willing to wait in a queue is 24 minutes.

Customers visiting Post Offices can expect an average wait time of two minutes and 36 seconds with more than 94% of its customers finding that wait acceptable.

Runcorn and Widnes World: Post Office has shared the most common mistakes when it comes to postingPost Office has shared the most common mistakes when it comes to posting (Image: Post Office)

The average waiting time data was taken from the Post Office’s voice of the customer survey on November 15, 2022 and is for the year 2022/23 up to November 14.

However, Post Office is warning of some possible delays in delivering items as the Communication Workers Union has announced strikes which will take place in the run-up to Christmas.

Its branches will remain open while the strikes take place but Post Office encourages customers to post things earlier than planned.

5 tips for posting during the busy Christmas period

For those of us hoping to miss the seasonal rush, Laura Joseph, Post Office Customer Experience Director, has shared some tips for customers and communities that will be posting this Christmas.

Don’t pack items in a branch

Save time by getting your packages ready at home. Packages with strings or bows don’t travel well so make sure your parcel has sturdy outer packaging.

Check the restricted items

Items such as alcohol, nail polish and perfume have restrictions on them. Check which other items have restrictions on how much and where they can be posted to avoid disappointment. There are different rules for posting within the UK and abroad.

Tracking and insurance can give peace of mind

Tracked and signed-for services can help you know where the parcel is. You can also add insurance to cash and high-value goods with services like Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed.


Avoid the lunchtime rush

With Post Offices branches open for longer, customers can visit earlier in the day or later in the evening. They’re also open on weekends.

Keep track of the last posting dates if posting abroad

Customers can save time by filling out online customs forms beforehand. A leaflet can be picked up in Post Office branches or customers can visit the Christmas Hub online.

Laura Joseph added: “The lead up to Christmas is often a busy time for all with a long to-do list in preparation for the big day. We all want to make sure our Christmas cards and presents to loved ones arrive in time and our Postmasters across our 11,500 branches can help with that. 

“Over the festive period Postmasters will be supporting communities across the UK and so too can Post Office customers. Once again, Post Office will this year be giving 1p from every over-the-counter cash withdrawal to the Trussell Trust to help fight poverty and hunger this winter.”