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USPS Announces Deadlines for Holiday Shipping, Letters to Santa

The United States Postal Services is letting shoppers know when they need to wrap up and ship out their holiday gifts this year to make sure packages arrive by Christmas morning.

Deadlines vary depending on shipping locations and services, but for children who send their wish list to Santa, the deadline is December 10, no matter where in the U.S. they're mailed.

The USPS says its busiest time of the holiday shipping season starts two weeks before Christmas. It’s expected that customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase beginning the week of Dec. 6. The week of Dec. 13-18 is anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the season.

USPS recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for delivery by Dec. 25, (to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) and domestic addresses):

  • Dec. 9 —APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

  • Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service

  • Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service

  • 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.



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