A reminder: Extra postage needed on those letters and packages. For a first-class card or letter the rate taking effect Monday is 41 cents for the first ounce, a 2-cent increase. But the cost for each additional ounce drops to 17 cents, so heavier letters will be cheaper than before.

The post office is also introducing extra changes for large or odd-shaped mail and altering a wide variety of its charges.

Details on the new rates are available at http://www.usps.com or call 1-800-275-8777.

Because most post offices are closed on Sunday, officials say items dropped in a box that will not be collected until Monday should have the higher postage on them.

On the other hand, when rates change the agency usually allows a little leeway, and it does not plan a rash of returns for insufficient postage.