'I feel like Santa today': Delivery drivers race to get packages under the tree by Christmas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- They don't ride sleighs but the job is still a jolly one: delivering Christmas cheer to families across the Triangle.

"I feel like Santa today," delivery driver Derek Linnen tells ABC11. "Hopefully I'm making someone's kid happy and making sure kids have a good Christmas smile."

Linnen is among the more than 100,000 seasonal employees hired by UPS; the company estimates its couriers deliver some 800 million packages worldwide between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

In the Triangle, hundreds of couriers are dispatched on routes making on average around 150 stops.

"Some people are really nice and offer a bottle of water or a cookie," Linnen says. "It gives you a better outlook on your day, it really does."

Triangle traffic aside, drivers we spoke with explained that hidden or dark house numbers sometimes added challenges to deliveries.

A UPS supervisor asserted to ABC11 that managers wanted all employees home by "dinner time" on Christmas Eve - a priority for which Linnen was very grateful.

"After you get that last package off, it's one of the best feelings you can have."

After Christmas, UPS and other shipping companies expect business to immediately ramp up for returns.
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