Desarae Simmons taught her third-grade students an important life lesson last week when their Christmas presents did not arrive in time.
The Burns Flat teacher ordered gloves for each of her students. The gloves were scheduled for delivery before school let out last week, but they arrived Monday instead.
The students will have to wait two weeks for their gifts.
“We talked about being patient and the value of waiting for things we want,” Simmons said. “It's a headache, but we're all understanding. I'm not upset about it. You can't control the weather.”
The winter storm that swept through Oklahoma and much of the country during the busiest time of year for courier companies stalled deliveries and threatened to delay presents until after Christmas.
Courier companies, however, worked overtime over the weekend and expect to complete most scheduled deliveries by Christmas Eve.
“We had management folks flown in and driven over to Oklahoma City. It's all hands on deck to make sure we get packages out,” said Tyre Sperling, a spokesman for UPS in Dallas.
“We did experience weather delays last week, but we sorted boxes over the weekend and are confident they will be delivered by Christmas.”
FedEx employees also are working to catch up.
“More than 300,000 team members at FedEx are working hard to deliver packages shipped by our customers during this special time of year,” the company said in a statement. “Our operations are working well to meet our service commitments. Customers can track their packages on fedex.com.”
Not all packages delivered this time of year are for Christmas.
Doug Tippens spent part of his Saturday morning on the phone trying to track down some of the decorations for his niece's wedding that evening.
The bride and groom ordered life-size pictures of themselves for their guests to take pictures with at the wedding.
Tippens' niece paid extra to have the props delivered by Thursday, but they arrived Monday instead.
“They probably won't have any other need for those cutouts for the rest of their lives,” Tippens said.
The wedding went on without the posters.
“It was a great event, but obviously they were disappointed they didn't have that there,” Tippens said. “It's frustrating, but I can only imagine how much volume they're having to deal with now.”
UPS's Sperling said customers who have been affected by the delays should contact customer service.
Refunds or price reductions will be handled on a case-by-case basis, he said.