The Post Office is gearing up for the annual festive overload by signing on 50 temporary workers and assigning 1'400 hours of overtime in the Balearics. There will be special collections from pillar boxes and home deliveries on Saturdays 7, 14 and 21 December, and urgent mail will also be delivered on December 24 and 31, to maintain the same level of regularity and quality as the rest of the year, a spokesman said yesterday. All post offices will be open to the public on December 24 and 31, and those which are in shopping centres will be open on the same days and at the same times as the centre. All the post offices are also selling Unicef Christmas cards - last year, they sold nearly 2.5 million cards. Spaniards are expected to send more than 500 million items through the mail over the Christmas period, ten million of them originating in the Balearics. From next week, post offices will also be selling a CD of cradle songs by Victor Manuel, Los Panchos, Rosana and other artists, for 15 euros. Proceeds are in aid of the Aldeas Infantiles, which provide a stable home environment for disadvantaged children, and Horizontes Abiertos, which helps female prisoners on their release from jail and also provides holidays for their children.

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