By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — A local family tried to beat the holiday rush at the Post Office, but it didn’t matter.

Their packages never arrived.

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As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported Tuesday night, Christine and Bruce Merevick can’t see their family for Christmas – so they wanted to make sure to send some cheer their way. Weeks later, the Merevicks said that big box of cheer is just sitting in a distribution facility.

The Merevicks are a fun-loving group that cherishes spending time and celebrating together. But this year, the holidays look different for them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The only place I can go to is the doctor for tests,” said Bruce Merevick. “I’m undergoing chemotherapy.”

Because Bruce is sick and considered high-risk, it will be just he and Christine this Christmas.

So trying to make the most of what they have, the Merevicks packed up Christmas in a box and shipped it to their family in Alabama. They sent it priority and had it insured two weeks ago.

And now, it’s still in Illinois.

“It’s just very frustrating,” Christine said. “They have no idea where it is.”

Well, it’s probably in Illinois, according to USPS.

Christine Merevick said despite a claim filed, several phone calls, and visits to offices, all she has been told is that until it is missing for two more weeks, USPS can’t do anything about it.

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“It may seem kind of silly to be so upset about something like this, but we wanted to send some joy,” Christine said.

They’re not alone. Tommy Stewart said he’s dealing with delays and missing priority packages, too.

“I can’t get any kind of help tracking this package,” Stewart said.

He said the priority package he could track traveled out of state, and then back to Illinois, before making it to a doorstep weeks later.

“We’re paying for a service and we’re not getting it,” Stewart said.

When Molina asked USPS a detailed request about delays we’ve heard about across Chicago, including these specific priority mail and package delays, a spokesperson referred her to a national news release about holiday delays and the importance of mailing packages early.

The Merevicks’ holiday wish as Christine put it, was, “Don’t make promises you know you can’t keep.”

Again, despite requests we made Tuesday, the spokesperson for USPS in Chicago didn’t address priority mail and package concerns or answer Molina’s questions about specific delays or issues here.

But we will keep asking.

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Tara Molina