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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The real Santas of Christmas 

by Sarah Lightley, UPS’s truck

Sarah Lightley/ The Broadside 

Christmas is coming; all the good little girls and boys are waiting for Santa to come. No one knows the identity of Santa. The question remains, who is the real Santa Claus?  

In one night, Santa delivers packages all over the world. UPS, FedEx and the U.S Postal Service deliver billions of packages every year.  

In 2019, it was reported that UPS delivered 21.9 million packages and documents a day. Each day UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service work hard to get parcels delivered. The holiday season, which is one of their busiest times of the year, requires UPS’s 125,000-unit delivery fleet to deliver packages to the world. This is compared to the big red sleigh and the eight reindeer.  

Dana Burfiend, a UPS driver for 27 years, said, “On their peak season, around Christmas time, I would deliver 400 packages a day.”

Burfiend spoke warmly of her delivery route, “Every year I would receive cookies, bread and many types of baked goods.”

Something similar to Saint Nick, with his milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. 

UPS drivers don’t have a regular shift. 

Burfiend indicated that “each day is different … start at 7:45 or 8:00 … deliver until you are done.” 

Most days could be 10 to 11 hours. Burfiend said UPS drivers are timed and can get in trouble if they go over their time limit for delivering packages in a day. 

As a UPS driver, they can code 30 minutes or an hour lunch. Burfiend said, “95% of [her] coworkers would code a lunch, but then work through it.”

All of the workers from UPS, FedEx and U.S Postal Service are dedicated and hard-working. 

The UPS drivers are typically assigned delivery routes. Driving the same route every day allows them to get to know the people and dogs. 

“A lot of dogs on my route, and I always had jerky treats,” Burfiend said. Burfiend buys the treats herself. No doubt, Burfiend was “friends to all” of the dogs on her delivery route.  

Every truck is assigned to a specific route. When asked if she had a nickname for her vehicle, Burfiend said she didn’t, but she would say, “come on, old girl, get me home.” 

When all of the packages are delivered, and all scanned out, the trucks return to their Santa workshops, ready to resume their package delivery the following morning.  

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