The Royal Mail has received a record 110,000 applications across the UK for the jobs of 18,000 seasonal workers.
The temporary employees have already started working to help 130,000 permanent staff deal with an expected two billion Christmas items. More than six people have so far applied for every new job since the recruitment campaign was launched in September.
Last year, the total number of applications for the seasonal jobs was 70,000. One of the new temporary workers is Lloyd Afan-Jones, 20, who previously worked at Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales. He had been out of work for four months. "As soon as I saw Royal Mail were taking on people for Christmas I jumped at the chance," he said. "I have always wanted to get a job as a postman and this work might lead to that."