If you plan to send mail to loved ones serving in the military overseas, do it soon, the U.S. Postal Service has advised.

Because of the "surge" in Iraq, the Postal Service is expecting a huge increase in mail being delivered to the Middle East. Postal officials are recommending that people begin sending Christmas packages and mail by Nov. 13 and that parcels be mailed no later than Dec. 19 for timely arrival.

The Postal Service is expecting to deliver 20 million pounds of mail to military installations around the world during the holiday season. Mail to Iraq alone during the second week of December is expected to increase by 400 percent over the average weekly volume.