by: Jaime Valdez Mark Weaver prepares a box for shipping at the UPS store he owns and manages off of Lower Boones Ferry Road. Though the holidays may get hectic, Weaver says he enjoys the challenge of making sure every package gets to where it needs to be, safely and on time.

Just like Santa, Mark Weaver and his family are responsible for making sure thousands of gifts get to where they're going on time - before Christmas.

The Weavers, who own and operate the UPS store at the intersection of Southwest 65th Avenue and Lower Boones Ferry Road, bought the shop two years ago from Hank and Fran Taylor, who had owned it for 18 years before them.

Weaver has found that business is booming these days.

'The rest of the year, we get about 50 to 70 customers a day. Just yesterday, we had 188,' he said.

In an industry that relies on speed and effectiveness, one might imagine that shipping during the holidays can be a stress-inducing job. However, Weaver doesn't complain.

'UPS is so well-organized, there's really no thought in how to run the business. It's all laid out for you,' he said.

Normally, UPS packages are picked up at the end of the day, but during the holiday season, packages are picked up two to three times daily. Packages dropped off this Friday can even make it to almost any location in the country by Saturday - Christmas Eve.

Weaver said the best part of the job is getting to interact with customers.

'You get to take care of their prize possessions, so that trust is a nice thing as well.'

Before opening their UPS store, the Weavers owned a roller skating rink in Nebraska for 12 years. Mark and his wife Leah said they tried retiring and moved to Florida several years back, but couldn't adjust to the open schedule after working seven days a week for most of their lives. Weaver said they discovered something: 'Retirement wasn't for us.'

They decided to buy another business and chose UPS because it required significantly less staff. Weaver anticipates they'll own it for the rest of their lives, eventually passing it on to their sons.

'We're probably just as busy here (as we were at the rink),' Weaver said. 'The difference is you deal with adults here. They understand you have to wait in line.'

So what's the zaniest shipment he's seen so far?

A package of spider DNA headed to Germany for scientific study.

'We had to get it past customs. That was my favorite shipment,' he said. 'I enjoy a challenge.'

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