U.S. post office holiday shipping deadlines: What you need to know

The winter holidays are quickly approaching, including Christmas Day one week from Sunday. For anyone who plans to ship holiday items via the U.S. Postal Service, time is running out to get your cards and gifts to your destination on time.

The agency has posted its recommended shipping dates for making sure whatever you're sending gets there with time to spare. The short of it: If you want to save money and avoid paying priority rates, you have until tomorrow — Saturday — to get your items out the door.

Here are the recommended deadlines:

  • Retail ground (2 to 5 business days) and first-class (mail in 1–5 business days; small packages in 2–5 business days): Saturday, Dec. 17
  • Priority mail (1-3 business days; flat-rate pricing): Monday, Dec. 19
  • Priority Mail Express (next-day to 2-day guarantee; flat-rate pricing): Friday, Dec. 23

Last holiday season, USPS accepted more than 13.2 Billion mailpieces and packages with an average delivery time of less than three days.


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