By Paul Gessler

BETHLEHEM, Md. (WJZ) — It’s no surprise that post offices across the country are in their busiest week of the year, with millions of holiday cards and gifts making their way to folks far and wide.

But one Maryland post office has been especially busy this time of year because of its name.

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It doesn’t take three wise men to realize why it’s so popular to get a postmark on one’s greeting cards from the little town of Bethlehem, which sits along Route 331 in Caroline County on the state’s Eastern Shore.

“Well, it’s the shining star,” said Bill Barber.

This time of year, the little post office wakes from a deep and dreamless sleep.

“It’s crazy. It’s crazy,” said Kim Herlock.

“I’ve learned to leave room for the stamp because when I first started doing it, I was doing it over top of the address,” said Terry Dix from Salisbury.

A three wise men stamp: customers do that themselves.

“There might be a car or two here, but around Christmastime, it’s rocking,” Barber said.

It’s so rocking, they have to fire up a machine they only use for the holidays, said postmaster Kerri Brandow.

While Christians celebrate Jesus’ holy birth in the other Bethlehem, postal customers flock to Bethlehem, Maryland, for the special postmark on their holiday well-wishes.

“They travel from all over to come here and mail their Christmas cards,” said Kelly Ferguson with Bethlehem Consignments.

The post office, which typically handles a few customers each day, processes about 3,000 per day during the Christmas season.

“It’s a hectic time for us, but, it’s a special time,” Brandow said.

Bethlehem isn’t alone in seeing a holiday-themed rush: post offices in towns like Rudolph, Wisconsin; Antlers, Oklahoma, and Santa Claus, Indiana, also see large influxes of mail this time of year.

Paul Gessler


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