The United States Post Office has released a schedule letting you know when to send your holiday mail.
If you plan on doing ground shipping put it in the mail before December 15th. First-class mail should be sent out by December 18th. Priority mail by December 19th.
However, if you are sending a package by ground to an Army, fleet or diplomatic post office USPS is asking that you send your package out by November 6th.
They are also suggesting you utilize their online tools to avoid a trip to the post office.
Here is the full holiday schedule:
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses and Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office addresses*:
- Nov. 6 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground service
- Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
- Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
- Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
- Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
- Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. The actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.
The postal service said the busiest mailing period starts two weeks before Christmas. "Beginning the week of Dec. 7, customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week."
The also provided these shipping tips:
- Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. They are available at local Post Offices or online at usps.com/freeboxes.
- Make it easy with Click-N-Ship. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
- Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Or, pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
- Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a window clerk at a Post Office.