People who need to buy postage stamps but want to avoid long holiday lines at post offices can put their orders in by phone or mail, the U.S. Postal Service says.

Utahns can write a note to their local postmaster saying how many stamps they want. It should be accompanied by a check for a minimum order of 50 stamps or $12.50, said acting Salt Lake City Postmaster Edward Broglio.The requests should be addressed to "Stamps by Mail," in care of the local postmaster, along with the city name and local zip code.

"Just put a note in an envelope, stating how many stamps you want and whether you prefer the traditional or contemporary holiday stamp," Broglio said. The traditional stamp features a painting of the Madonna and child, while the contemporary one features a horse-drawn sleigh.

Although there is no service charge for the stamps by mail, he said there is a $2 service charge for telephone orders.

To order the stamps by phone, residents of the state may dial the toll-free phone number of 1-800-STAMP24, Broglio said. The orders must be charged to VISA or MasterCard credit cards.