It used to be when Thanksgiving was over, Christmas got the green light. Now it's more like Halloween. They tell us that here, the first snow gives everyone permission to think about the holidays--the 10 day New Year celebration which has Christmas rolled in with it--so the lights and decorations are going up in stores.
If you're mailing to your missionary, we're having consistent success with USPS Priority. Packages arrived today that were mailed from the USA October 30-November 4. As for normal letters, a Pouch with letters arrived today that left SLC via DHL on Nov 17. It's not always that fast, but it's not uncommon.