I tend to think everyone knows about this already, but I discovered this week that that isn't so. It's a little late for holiday shipping for this year, but good info to have for later!
If you go to the post office's official website, you can set up an account and print your own postage. The advantage? No lines! Oh, and you save some money too. =) I have a small digital scale and can weigh my packages, but if you use the flat rate priority boxes (free from the post office), you don't even need the scale. I used to keep a few boxes on hand when I had more space. I shipped 4 packages Monday and 3 of the 4 were cheaper to ship flat rate than by weight - it doesn't take much to add up! When printing the postage online, they give you a small discount (up to 15%) on shipping and they also give you free delivery confirmation (a savings of $.75 per package). The best part? You can also schedule a pick-up and you won't even have to go to the post office to drop them off no matter how big the package or how many you have. The only down side is that you can't print first class postage on the site. I have heard you can print these through PayPal's website though so if you're mailing lighter items, be sure and check that out!
The other alternative? If you're not making the gifts yourself, purchase gifts from companies that offer free shipping (gotta love Amazon!) and have the item sent directly to the recipient. No, you won't be able to wrap it yourself, but a lot of companies offer gift-wrapping services now. Amazon has been offering a lot of $5 credits lately too so keep an eye out for those! I purchased an item for $25, got free shipping and used my $5 credit so it only cost $20 + tax shipped. Not a bad deal!