When to mail out packages to ensure they arrive by Christmas

Christmas is just days away, and the clock is winding down to get packages and letters to where they need to go by December 25. 

This year, the holiday shopping season is busier than ever before. There’s been a record number of people shopping online due to the pandemic, and because many people won’t be gathering in person, they’re opting to ship their gifts to loved ones instead. USPS expects three billion packages to be shipped over the holiday. That’s up from the 2.5 billion that were shipped last season. 

If you want a letter or package to make it to a loved one by Christmas, deadlines are fast approaching. For USPS, letters and packages will need to be in the mail by December 23 using the priority mail express service option. For FedEx and UPS, they offer other options like three-day, two-day and overnight shipping, but it will cost more. Both carriers still recommend shipping your items before December 23. 

On Sunday, the post office near Tampa International Airport was filled with people hoping to ship their last-minute items. 

"We came all the way from Belleair because it’s the post office that’s open today on Sunday to mail packages to Dallas for our children. At this point, it is what it is. I am open to suggestions as far as when they’re going to tell me when it’s going to be delivered and my children know that," said Vickie Nowles, a Belleair resident. 

If it comes down to the wire, FedEx and UPS do offer overnight shipping, but it will be pricey. Experts recommend you check the projected price of your package through the carrier’s website to avoid sticker shock at the counter. 

Click here for information on UPS deadlines.
Click here for information on FedEx deadlines.
Click here for information on USPS deadlines.