Holiday Gifting Guide: When To Ship Packages So They Arrive by Christmas

Smiling young African American woman doing some online shopping with a credit card and laptop while sitting on her living room floor.
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The crunch time for holiday shopping – and shipping – is just about here. And if you need to send your gifts across the country or want to order something to arrive in time to give in person, it’s crucial to know the deadlines the biggest delivery services have set to get your packages to their destination by Dec. 25.

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The U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS all stand ready to handle your delivery needs.

“Our customers and the American people should feel confident in the service we will provide for the holiday season, so use us to fill your orders, send your gifts, mail your holiday cards and letters, and conduct your normal business,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told a meeting of the Postal Service Board of Governors on Nov. 10, 2022. “Americans should feel confident sending their holiday cards, mail and packages with the Postal Service. There is a spirit of excitement throughout [USPS] and our entire team is ready to deliver the holidays for the nation.”

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Brie Carere, the chief customer officer at FedEx, said the same is true at that shipping giant, which is prepared to handle all the orders consumers place with stores for delivery.

“The network is ready for our customers to support the sales they have now, to support the sales that they’re going to have on Black Friday,” she told CNBC last month. “We’re also ready for the sales that they’re going to have and we believe will continue right through the month of December,” she added.

Here are the 2022 U.S. holiday shipping deadlines:

U.S. Postal Service

  • Dec. 17: USPS retail ground service
  • Dec. 17: First-class mail service (including holiday greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17: First-class packages
  • Dec. 19: Priority Mail
  • Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express

Alaska

  • Dec. 2: USPS retail ground service
  • Dec.17: First-class mail service
  • Dec. 17: Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21: Priority Mail Express

Hawaii

  • Dec. 17: First-class Mail
  • Dec. 17: Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21: Priority Mail Express

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UPS

  • Dec. 20: 3-Day Select
  • Dec. 21: 2nd Day Air services
  • Dec. 22: Next-day Air services

FedEx

  • Dec. 8: Ground 
  • Dec. 14: Ground and Home Delivery
  • Dec. 20: Express Saver
  • Dec. 21: 2Day and 2Day-AM
  • Dec. 22: Overnight services
  • Dec. 23: Same-day services

Amazon and Other Retailers

Amazon, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target, Best Buy, Walmart and more national retailers all will deliver your holiday gifts, too, but each has a different set of deadlines. As the holidays draw closer, they will let you know on their websites just when you must make your purchases.

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Josephine Nesbit contributed to the reporting for this article.

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About the Author

Jami Farkas holds a communications degree from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor at daily newspapers in all four corners of the United States. She brings to GOBankingRates experience as a sports editor, business editor, religion editor, digital editor — and more. With a passion for real estate, she passed the real estate licensing exam in her state and is still weighing whether to take the plunge into selling homes — or just writing about selling homes.
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