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Got Christmas in the mail yet?

Got Christmas in the mail yet?

"Mail your packages early, so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas," quipped late late-night talk show host and comedian Johnny Carson (1925-2005).

Have you stamped and sent your holiday cards and gift packages yet?

When should Christmas cards and gift packages be sent, if they are expected to arrive in time for Christmas?

Based on tradition and general guidelines, First Class letters need to go out by Tuesday, December 20th, if they are to arrive at Continental U.S. recipient addresses by Saturday, December 24th (Christmas Eve). Those who miss this deadline may opt for Priority Mail (sending by Wednesday, December 21st) or Express Mail (posting by Thursday, December 22nd).

Packages shipping by USPS Parcel Post have to go by Thursday, December 15th, if they are to make it to their domestic U.S. destinations by Christmas Eve.

Of course, senders may choose from various messenger and delivery services, such as FedEx, DHL and UPS.

Catalog and online shoppers can enjoy free shipping offers and free overnight shipping upgrades from many merchants, particular with early orders. Just remember: December 17th is Free Shipping Day for 1,000+ Online Merchants. 

Here’s a quick report for foreign shippers!

It’s already too late for regular mailings to most international locations. That doesn’t mean items won’t arrive by Christmas, but it’s surely not guaranteed or even likely.

Holiday shoppers who still need to send gifts overseas may do well to select emailed gift cards or store certificates at this time.

It’s not too late to send holiday cheer to U.S. Armed Forces overseas.

But Santa has to hurry!

You can still send mail to U.S. military addresses overseas, as long as you fire off those First Class missives by Saturday, December 10th. Express Mail Military Service cards and letters can go out through Saturday, December 17th, and still likely arrive by Christmas Eve. 

Overseas Christmas parcels needed to go by Saturday, December 3rd, for overseas military locations.

Happy holiday shopping and shipping – all around!

By the way, across the United States, December 26th will be a postal holiday.

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