Behind the scenes look at mail processing center around the holidays

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After Santa’s elves finish making Christmas gifts for Central Pennsylvanians at the North Pole, they send those gifts to the Harrisburg Processing and Distribution Center.

120,000 of them, in one day alone.

“All together through the holiday season, this machine will handle about 3 million pieces between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, spokesperson for the United States Postal Service.

Mazurkiewicz says this time of year they say almost 50,000 more packages every day than a normal day the rest of the year.

“Our letter mail is dropping, but our package business is booming,” said Mazurkiewicz.

The machine, called an Automated Package Processing System, scans each package as it enters the conveyor belt and spits it out into the appropriate bin for distribution.

But a lot of work goes into the process, from pick up to delivery, and it’s thanks to our local elves at the distribution center that you get your holiday packages on time.

“Well it’s amazing when the holidays come around. It gets crazy in here, let’s say that. Because the volume picks up so much, it turns into packages everywhere,” said Doyce Glenn, a USPS employee.

Glenn is one of 1,000 USPS workers taking on the holiday season, seven days a week for the two month holiday season.

“We work Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, all the time. So it’s a hard process to deal with, but it gets done,” said Glenn.

A process he’s taken on for the last 26 years, and despite the craziness, he says it’s worth it.

“It’s neat when you do deliver packages to a family and they’re looking forward to it from grandma or grandpa or whoever, it’s nice,” said Glenn.

If you want your package to arrive by Christmas, you have until Friday to get it mailed for the best price.

You can mail packages until the 22nd, but remember, express shipping doesn't come cheap.

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