Holiday ride along with Rapid City mail carrier

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Reindeer normally help Santa deliver presents, but what about the mailman?

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim rides along with one mail carrier to see what his day is like during the post office's busiest time of year.

Rapid City Post Office City Carrier Assistant Monte Vliem says, "I go in every day and I kind of feel like Santa."

Monte Vliem is a city carrier assistant for the Rapid City Post Office.

He says because of his job, he feels like he plays a key role in "delivering" Christmas cheer.

Monte Vliem says, "A lot of what we're delivering is people's Christmas presents. It's communication from other members of the family that they don't maybe get to hear from or talk to different parts of the year so it's fun."

Katrina Lim says, "For city carrier assistants like Monte, his day starts at 7 A.M. at the post office, but how do your packages go from here to your doorstep?"

The process actually starts the day before.

Parcel sorters come in at noon, and by the time carriers come in the next day, your packages are ready to hit the road.

Postermaster LaCroix says this post office alone processes 8,000 to 10,000 parcels a night during the holiday season.

Rapid City Postmaster Lyle LaCroix says, "From Thanksgiving through Christmas is going to be our peak season where it's the busiest for us. We deliver, I'd say, three, four, or five times as many parcels as we no rmally do within that time frame."

Sometimes carriers take a little longer because of all the extra mail and packages, but they also need to worry about snow and ice.

Lyle LaCroix says, "Depending on the severity of the weather, it can delay around up to two hours or more. I've seen out as late as 7 o'clock is the latest that I think we've had anybody out this year. On average we get everybody back well before six."

Monte says thanks to GPS, families can track their packages, and they eagerly wait for their gifts down to the minute.

Monte Vliem says, "Especially kids looking out the window, oh, you're greeted a lot of times at the door with a really happy, smiling face ready and waiting for their gift."

Monte says just last Sunday, they delivered 2,400 parcels just from Amazon.

The Post Office will be delivering parcels even on Sundays, including Christmas Eve this year.