Mark these dates now so your gift giving stays joyful—not stressful.

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Every year we say we're going to get a headstart on Christmas shopping for our friends and family across the country. And every year, November flies by faster than ever before and suddenly it's December 15th and we're still checking off those last few presents on our list to send off before it's too late. (Don't even get us started on making sure Christmas cards go out on time.)

Whether you're an expert gifter or tend to go generic, sending gifts around the holidays is a special way to stay connected to our loved ones who are a little farther away than we'd like. And while Christmas shopping should always be a joyful activity, it can quickly turn a little stressful when you realize you're running out of time. And for any packages you have to mail to another part of the country, that deadline of course comes earlier than the actual holiday.

WATCH: Easy Ways To Finish Off Your Holiday Gifts

To help you get ahead of planning, we rounded up all the shipping deadlines that will affect how you send Christmas packages this year, and so you can keep them in mind and avoid paying super high overnight shipping rates.

U.S. Postal Service:

For deliveries to arrive before Christmas Day, Friday, December 14th is the last day to ship via USPS ground rates. If you're willing to pay extra for first class or priority shipping, you have up until Saturday the 22nd.


To ensure delivery by Monday, December 24th, use 3-day shipping through UPS no later than Tuesday, December 18th. You have until Friday the 21st to use next-day service for packages to be delivered on the 24th since UPS doesn't deliver to all areas on Saturdays or anywhere on Sundays.


Monday, December 17th is the last day to send packages via standard FedEx Ground shipping for them to arrive before Christmas. The 21st is also the last day to use next-day or overnight service through FedEx.