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Pictures From the Archives: Santa and UPS Through the Years

In my role as UPS Archivist and Historian, a majority of my time is spent doing research into the company’s past. While looking for important facts and figures I often see trends or themes that develop over time. One fun seasonal theme is the connection between UPS and Santa Claus, which seem to go together like cookies and milk.

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Behind the Scenes of UPS Holiday Shipping: How We Get All Those Extra Packages Delivered
driving in snow

Delivering more than 527 million packages from Thanksgiving to Christmas keeps UPS drivers pretty busy.  On December 20th UPS drivers will deliver more than 300 packages a second!  As you can imagine they need a little extra help.

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Christmas in August
driving in snow

As much as this pains me to say, I’m not perfect. And while I like to be organized, well, sometimes I’m just not.

See, I’ve got full-time kids and a full-time job with a full-time husband and a full-time house.  These things demand more hours than days provide, so when the holidays roll around, I make the effort to start early because I know that no matter how hard I try, I’ll end late.

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UPS Gears Up for Holiday Logistics
UPS holiday cookies

It’s hard to think the holidays are almost here! Thanksgiving is in two weeks and it’s just 45 days until Christmas. But here at UPS, we’ve been working on holiday logistics all year. We’ve added an extra 55,000 brown-suited elves who we predict will help deliver more than 120 million packages in just the week before – that’s almost 300 gifts every second on our busiest day!  Worldport in Louisville is our North Pole – where a lot of those packages pass on the way to your Christmas tree.  

This year, fashionistas will be shopping on the private-sales site the Gilt Groupe – one of the leaders in the e-retail industry and UPS will deliver thousands of those holiday orders.

Transforming from Christmas to Chinese New Year

Even as the Christmas and New Year festivities end, Singapore prepares for the next major celebration – the Chinese New Year. It is totally amazing how quickly the decoration on the streets, in department stores and supermarkets transform. All things nativity are gone and we now prepare to welcome the year of the rabbit.

As I look at all the transformation, I cannot help but think of the logistics involved behind them – the planning, the work, the resource allocation – and appreciate my job at UPS more.

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Holiday Logistics: Winter Storms in Minnesota Sparked Santa-Like Solution for UPS Deliveries

During this holiday season, Mother Nature delivered lots of snow to parts of the U.S. So much snow, that it impaired travel on roads and on airlines. In Minnesota, UPSers got creative and used sleds to help deliver packages to customers. The following story was originally written by Justin Luther, who is an Employee Communications Supervisor in Minnesota. Read More »

Santa’s Helpers Wear Brown

I have found stories in the UPS Archives that go back to the 1920s of drivers being asked by children if they delivered for Santa Claus in addition to the local department stores. Often, the drivers would confess to the hopeful child that, yes, they do help Jolly Ol’ St. Nick make his deliveries. 

The challenge for these drivers – and to some extent for the drivers today – is to get these deliveries past any children who are at home and safely in the hands of the parent. A December 1929 article in UPS’s employee publication, the Big Idea, addressed this challenge of maintaining the secrecy of these important deliveries – especially when in those days, tricycles and dollhouses came assembled without a cardboard box to conceal them. 

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Printing Holiday Cheer at The UPS Store

holiday 2010 calendarDo you wonder who has time to do those interesting personalized holiday letters? Actually, you do, and we can help!

On top of all the holiday packing and shipping, The UPS Store locations help our customers with their seasonal print projects – from holiday cards, to personalized calendars, to family cookbooks. Curious? Read on!

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas at The UPS Store

The UPS StorePacking Tips from a Holiday Veteran

I am not ready to confess publicly how many Christmases I have seen in my lifetime … but I have spent 27 of them in the shipping industry, seven of which at The UPS Store. There are a bunch of stories to tell—some that would make you cry and many more that would make you laugh!

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Wrapping up the Holidays

I’ve always looked forward to the holidays.  The word “Christmas” conjures up fond memories of some of my favorite things:  baking cookies, school closing (and therefore no homework) for weeks, sledding in the Ohio snowfall, and of course the magic and excitement as a young child over what Santa would bring. 

Christmas morning as a child was the apex of the year, and I can’t imagine a child waking up with no gifts to open.  Apparently, neither can the more than 1,200 UPSers here at our corporate campus, who have adopted a local elementary school in our annual Project Angel volunteer program. Read More »