Those planning on sending Christmas cards are being encouraged to do so sooner rather than later.

Manitobans may not be rushing to shop for Christmas in person, but Canada Post is anticipating a wave of deliveries.

"Our operations team is ready to deliver the holidays," Valérie Chartrand, Media Relations Officer with Canada Post says."The rule of thumb for this year: shop early."

Listen to Canada Post's advice on sending Christmas cards here

Each Christmas, thousands of cards and packages are sent out across Canada. Chartrand says they can not venture a guess on exact numbers. 

"We certainly see a lot more green and red envelopes go through our postal system during the holidays. Our delivery agents and employees just love seeing those."

An increase in online shopping this year will create even more mail and potential delays in delivery. In Manitoba, only essential items are allowed to be purchased in person. Items such as clothing and electronics cannot be purchased in-store until December 11. This brings an increased demand on the postal system, aside from its usual Christmas volumes.

"As we know, people were staying home and they were shopping more and more online and it is a trend that we have been seeing in the last month. If we combine it with our usual holiday surge of the parcel, it can overwhelm capacity in our system."

Chartrand says they are preparing for a busy Christmas.

In order to estimate when mail will arrive, the service posted potential delivery schedules and options on their website. To assure Christmas cards and parcels arrive on time, Chartrand says to send them out as soon as possible.

"For parcels, we have been saying since Thanksgiving to shop early."

She says that it is important to make sure the address is correct and spelled the same way it is on the person's official address. In Winnipeg, there are several streets that bear similar names, such as St. Mary's Road and Saint Mary Avenue.

"The best thing is to go to our website. There are great resources to lookup an address and make sure the spelling is correct, and also how to properly address a letter."

She says in order for the letter to have "safe travels" they need to have a full address, postal code and apartment number included, and a proper return address. 

This year, Canada Post created a letter-writing campaign called Write here Write now to connect people.

"It is just that feeling when you get something in the mail that is different, that is so special."

She says sending a letter or greeting card is a great way to make someone's day.