One week to Christmas... Have you shipped your Christmas Gifts?

by Brooke Hart
NBC News

First there's shopping, then there's shipping.

With one week to Christmas, these are the peak days of sending and receiving.

"We're bringing their presents -- in essence like little Santa's helpers, I guess," said one FedEx driver.
Delivery crews are moving mountains, of packages that is.

At the U.S. Postal Service, a billion pieces of mail processed Monday are now en route.

"We anticipate the volume.  We hire about 13,000 people additionally, nationwide," says Susan Plonkey of the U.S. Postal Service.

There is a similar story at UPS.

"The loads sometimes double and triple at times," says UPS Driver Frank Vines.

Vines has been a driver for 28 years.

Holiday time, he says, calls for special care, sometimes waiting for parents to shoo kids away.

"Then they will signal me or tell me where to leave the packages - so I kinda feel like I'm doing a deed for them and Santa," says Vines.

Only some deliveries are to their final destination.

"I've been doing a lot of on line Christmas shopping this season," says Kathy Antonides of Burke, Virginia.

Internet shopping means packages often travel twice, from the merchant to the gift-giver, then from the gift-giver to the recipient.

"It's a package from Dick's for my brother-in-law for Christmas," says David Clemson of Burke, Virginia

Bumping up the volume even further but not for UPS driver Frank Vines.

"You go to the mall?" asked a reporter.

"I go to the mall hoping that all the people I deliver to - are not there," jokes Vines.

Online retailers who've used shipping offers to lure customers are winding those down this week.

FedEx and the postal service both say Saturday is the last day to ship in time for Christmas.