The Garden City Post Office will extend Saturday retail hours to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Dec. 20. Normally the post office is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Residents must send their mail early to get it there in time for Christmas. For domestic mail, the cut-off date for standard mail is Dec. 15, and Dec. 20 for First Class mail.

“Our carriers are dedicated carriers so they will be on duty through the season,” ValJean Ingram, postmaster of the Garden City Post Office said. She did not give any estimate of how much mail will be moved at the local post office during the holiday, however.

Holiday cards and packages destined for military addresses in Iraq/Afghanistan/Middle East should have been in the mail no later than Dec. 3, and all other military addresses should be mailed by Wednesday to arrive in time for Christmas. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the USPS offers a $2 discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes.

A press statement from the United Postal Service indicated that the service expects to deliver 15.5 billion cards, letters and packages this holiday season, including 470 million packages — a 12 percent increase compared to 2013.

“For international destinations, mail-by dates range from Dec. 2 to Friday depending on the destination,” the statement read, “with Global Express Guaranteed service available through Dec. 18 for most countries.”

Suggested mail-by dates for cards and packages destined for U.S. addresses are: Dec. 15 for Standard Post; Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail, Dec. 20 for Priority Mail, and Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express.