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Don’t let those presents miss Santa’s sleigh.

Michelle Darrisaw
November 8, 2017

With countless numbers of packages delivered during the holidays, there’s bound to be a few mishaps to occur along the bumpy ride from the warehouse to your front doorstep. Even though shipping companies work tirelessly to make sure your presents and seasonal merchandise end up in their rightful spot under the tree, delays and damages still happen. Regardless if you're on the sending or receiving end of the gift exchange, you can increase your chances of having your gifts arrive on or before Christmas by following the suggested mailing and shipping deadlines. Thankfully, the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx have released their shipping dates for the 2017 holiday season to ensure your items arrive on time—and, most importantly, in one piece. As you scramble to get decorations up and check off everyone on your list, make sure you mark your calendar for these dates. That especially goes for all you last-minute shoppers and picky procrastinators!  

Postal Service Mailing and Shipping Deadlines

  • November 6 - APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground
  • December 11 - APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail
  • December 14 - USPS Retail Ground
  • December 15 - Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail; First-Class Mail
  • December 16 - APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express
  • December 16 - First Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • December 19 - First Class Mail
  • December 20 - Priority Mail
  • December 20 - Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail Express
  • December 20 - Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail & First-Class Mail
  • December 21 - Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail Express
  • December 22 - Priority Mail Express

Christmas Cards

The last and final day to mail a first class holiday greeting card without paying the added cost of priority fees is December 19. But if you need a little more time, you can mail it the next day using Priority Mail or on December 22 using Priority Express. Just remember, though, your procrastination will cost you extra.

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FedEx Shipping Deadlines

  • Since Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year, the shipping company has made a few changes to their holiday schedule. Keep in mind that FedEx Express and FedEx Ground will not be delivering on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
  • FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx 2Day will deliver on Saturday, December 16, with a $16 delivery fee applicable to each package. FedEx Ground, however, will not deliver on December 23.
  • FedEx SameDay service and some expedited services will allow you to ship on Christmas Day. FedEx SameDay is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for urgent shipments.
  • FedEx office locations will close by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

UPS Shipping Deadlines

  • December 18: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select service for delivery on Friday, December 22.
  • December 19: UPS 3 Day Select shipments will be picked up and sent out for delivery on Tuesday, December 26.
  • December 20: Last day to ship UPS 2nd Day Air packages for delivery on Friday, December 22.
  • December 21: UPS 2nd Day Air service is available for delivery on Saturday, December 23. Packages must be processed and labeled for Saturday Delivery, which is not available to all ZIP codes. All UPS Next Day Air packages picked up on this day will be delivered on Friday, December 22.
  • December 22: Last day to ship UPS Next Day Air. Packages will be delivered on Saturday, December 23. Packages must be processed and labeled for Saturday Delivery, which is not available to all ZIP codes.
  • December 23: Delivery of UPS Worldwide Express, UPS Next Day Air and UPS 2nd Day Air packages processed and labeled for Saturday Delivery. Pickup and delivery of UPS Ground on Saturday packages will be available in many metro area ZIP codes.
  • December 24: No UPS pickup or delivery service. UPS Express Critical service available.
  • December 25: No UPS pickup or delivery service. UPS Express Critical service available.
  • December 26: Normal pickup and delivery service resumes. UPS 3 Day Select packages picked up on this day and delivered on Friday, December 29.

What would the holidays be without gifts under the tree? Hopefully, you won’t have to find out when adhering to these shipping deadlines.