CROWN POINT, Ind. (CBS) — Chances are Christmas is coming a little later than usual for some in the Chicago area, as gifts sent through the U.S. Postal Service were still in limbo a day after Christmas for many people.

That includes one local grandma whom CBS 2’s Steven Graves spoke to. She sent packages weeks in advance.

Peggy McBride of Crown Point, Indiana prepared for delays from the USPS. But now, she worries a valuable gift might be gone for good.

“I took them to the local post office on December 4th, and I have the receipt,” McBride said. “You can see I mailed a lot of packages that day.”

The estimated arrival time was days later using Priority Mail. It has now been three weeks.

“I checked this morning and here is the paperwork from the computer,” McBride said.

The paperwork she showed us displayed a tracking history on a package to her son near Atlanta, Georgia, which stopped at Dec. 8. It said, “In transit, arriving late.”

For McBride, it’s too late.

“I don’t know if it will ever get there. I worry about that,” she said. “And then the Christmas check. Where’s that at?”

On Dec. 14, McBride sent a check and a card to Georgia. There was no tracking number with that one, and her son has not gotten an email from informed delivery.

“I mean, you would think the Pony Express was delivering it,” McBride said.

It’s odd, because she sent packages to Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. Those arrived a little late or on time, but that one to her son in Georgia did not.

It’s safe to say McBride is not alone. The USPS continues to warn people of a record number of shipments and employee shortages due to COVID-19.

Holiday returns are likely to add to the mix of confusion and pile-ups that we have reported on in Chicago.

In Northwest Indiana, McBride said mail is just slow in general. After a Gary distribution site closed years ago, mail was rerouted to Illinois.

“I don’t know what’s happened to the Postal System delivery service, but it used to be really great. And now it is not,” she said.

We wanted to know exactly how USPS is handling McBride’s case, and impending returns. The USPS declined an interview, but gave this general statement:

“The Postal Service delivered a record amount of packages this holiday season in the midst of the pandemic, which significantly impacted our workforce availability. We will continue to work around the clock to deliver all packages and mail entered into our system.

“While every year the Postal Service carefully plans for peak holiday season, a historic record of holiday volume compounded by a temporary employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, and capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail are leading to temporary delays. These challenges are being felt by shippers across the board.

“We thank our customers for their continued support, and we are committed to making sure gifts and cards are delivered. We also thank our 644,000 employees who are working tirelessly throughout these unique conditions.”

The USPS also advises that if you think a shipment has been lost, they have instructions at this web address.

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