When is the holiday shipping deadline? See the last day to ship packages and cards to arrive by Christmas
HENRIETTA, N.Y. — Time is running out to get your holiday packages and cards to your loved ones in time for Christmas.
The holiday shipping deadline is fast approaching. So, it’s not a good idea to wait until the last minute. You have exactly three more days in order to ship your packages, so it makes it underneath your loved ones tree.
Marsha: Do you know when the deadline is? It’s in three days.
Eileen Smith: Oh no, okay, I think I better hurry then.
Long lines and not a lot of time. Christmas is right around the corner, which means you should wrap up your holiday shopping and get your packages shipped by the USPS deadline. That’s what many Monday evening were trying to do at the Henrietta post office.
Sydney Van Winkle was picking up boxes to ship packages to her sister in California and thought she missed the deadline.
“Ohh okay, I thought it was the 16th so that’s great,” Van Winkle said.
Dec. 16 was the cutoff for five-day shipping using USPS Ground Advantage and First-Class Mail Services.
Dec. 18 was the cutoff for four-day shipping.
The longer you wait, the longer the lines are expected to be when you get to the post office.
“The line is way too long, so I’m going to come back another time,” Eileen Thomas said as she was heading out the post office doors.
Others decided to hang in there. Julie Thomas was one of them. She expected long lines. She dropped off packages to ship to friends in Texas.
Marsha: Was there a long line and if so, how long did you have to wait?
Julie Thomas: I decided intentionally not to look at my watch because it was out the door.
If you do wait until the Dec. 21 deadline, the only way your package will arrive by Christmas is by using Priority Mail Express one-day delivery.
Although it costs more, for some it’s worth it — while others would rather take their chances with priority two- to three-day delivery.
“I’ve sent things priority before, and they haven’t got there in the time. They’ve taken a week and a half. I didn’t want to pay the Priority Express; it was nearly four times the amount,” Thomas said.
However, the longer you wait the more you must pay.
The last day to mail a card or envelope is Dec. 20 using First Class mail.
“I just went and filled out the card and I go umm, the line’s too long. I thought maybe I’d get into self-service but it’s even too long for that,” Don Riehle said.
Although the lines were long at the Henrietta post office, there were many postal workers staffed to keep the lines moving.
“Our mentality has changed, and e-commerce has drastically increased, so therefore package volume has skyrocketed,” Mark Lawrence, Strategic Communications Specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, said.
The USPS Christmas cutoff dates can be found here.
The deadline for five-day shipping was Dec. 16, and the deadline for four-day shipping was Dec. 18.
But there is still time to get your packages to your loved ones by Christmas using Priority Mail by Dec. 20 and Priority Express Mail by Dec, 21.
USPS won’t be delivering regular mail on Christmas Day, and because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday the last scheduled day for regular USPS delivery is Saturday, Dec. 23.