Holiday shipping deadlines: How to make sure packages arrive by Christmas

If you're still getting your gifts together to ship to family and friends, time is running out to have them arrive on time – but you're not out of luck just yet. 

While the ground shipping deadline has passed, you still have plenty of options, but the clock is ticking to get those packages and letters in the mail so that they can arrive before Dec. 25.

"The earlier you send, the better: Don’t delay, mail and ship today," the postal service says.

READ: Viral gift wrapping hacks for this holiday season

Here are the key dates to keep in mind:

  • Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

Alaska to/from Continental U.S.

  • Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 18 — Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

Hawaii to/from mainland

  • Dec. 17 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

For information about sending packages to military or diplomatic posts abroad, increased holiday shipping charges, and shipping packages from home, visit

Note from USPS: *Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25.