With Christmas right around the corner, a lot of you are probably checking off gifts on your shopping list and sending them to your friends and family.

Monday, December 11, marked the start of the busiest time for post offices - and they're only going to get busier in the next two weeks.

"It all has to start somewhere and the plant is where it all begins," said Teren Hicks, senior manager of distribution at the United States Postal Service Boise Processing Center.

Every year postal carriers nationwide and in Idaho see a surge in package deliveries for the holidays.

"It's a lot of 12-hour days for a lot of employees," Hicks said. "It really is a testament to every single employee that we have here."

So far carriers have delivered a record 2 million packages. That's up 10 percent since this time last year. By the end of the holiday season you can expect even more deliveries.

"We're looking at 3.5 million packages delivered to Boise and our area of operations," said Hicks.

Hicks also says shopping behavior has a huge impact on this influx of packages.

"With e-commerce and technology at everyone's fingertips it's really simple for someone to get online and order a package," Hicks said.

With an operation like this, everyone works together like a well-oiled machine. The unsung heroes, Hicks says, are the equipment technicians.

"They're working around the clock here to make sure the machines are up and running," said Hicks. "That way we won't have any delayed mail and people can get their Christmas presents."

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to ordering or mailing your packages.

"If you're doing it on the 20th or 21st you'd want to do some kind of priority mail," Hicks said. "Standard post you're flirting with danger of not getting it there on time."

Post offices around the country will be expanding their delivery hours to handle the high volume.

Hicks says at the Boise Processing Center, they will add 50 employees for the holiday season.