For last-minute mailers, Salt Lake Postmaster Ralph Hamilton recommends express mail next-day service.

That guarantees next-day delivery seven days a week - including Christmas Day - in major market cities. The U.S. Postal Service is the only shipping company that delivers gifts on Christmas Day, officials say.To assist customers, most Salt Lake post offices will be open until 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. Exceptions are the Pioneer Postal Storein the ZCMI Center, which will stay open until 5:30 p.m., and the Airport post office, which never closes.

Hamilton suggests that customers call their local post office to ensure that materials intended for overnight delivery are on the Postal Service's overnight network.

Express mail rates begin at $9.95 for a half-pound package and increase in cost depending on the weight of the package. A two-pound package is $13.95.

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American Fork, Alpine and Highland will have Christmas Day express mail packages delivered by Santa.

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