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2020 Holiday Shipping Guide

With the holidays nearing closer, you don't want to be caught stressing over packages.

Whether your ordering kits for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or other holiday traditions, see below for the recommended order-by-date for the holidays from carriers on our site.


USPS holiday shipping deadlines

Below are the dates recommended by the USPS for “expected delivery” before Dec. 25. (Only in select locations are packages delivered — for an extra fee — on Christmas Day; consult your local post office for details.)

  • Dec. 15 — USPS retail ground service, which is for packages, thick envelopes and tubes; though cheaper, the service takes longer than first-class mail.
  • Dec. 18 — First-class mail service including greeting cards; also first-class packages of less than 1 pound
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service, though the actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination and other factors. If the service is used Dec. 22–25, the money-back guarantee applies only if delivery was not attempted, or the shipment was not delivered, within two business days.

If you're shipping to Alaska from the continental U.S./from Alaska to the mainland:

  • Dec. 18 — First-class mail
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

If you're shipping to Hawaii from continental U.S/from Hawaii to mainland:

  • Dec. 15 — First-class mail and Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

If you're sending military and diplomatic mail overseas:

  • Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO for zip code 093 using Priority Mail or first-class mail
  • Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO for all other zip codes using Priority Mail or first-class mail
  • Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO except for zip code 093 using Priority Mail Express

For international customers, please refer to USPS' guide and your destination country.


UPS holiday shipping deadlines

Likewise, the recommendation at UPS is for consumers to ship gifts “earlier, rather than later, to beat the holiday rush,” as UPS spokeswoman Dawn Wotapka put it.

Here's the UPS holiday schedule for delivery by Dec. 24, since only Express Critical shipments are delivered on Christmas Day:

  • Dec. 15 — UPS Ground
  • Dec. 21 — UPS 3 Day Select
  • Dec. 22 — UPS 2 Day Air
  • Dec. 23 — UPS Next Day Air

More information is online. Take a look if you are shipping to a foreign country. If you are shipping by UPS Ground, note there are variables including points of origin and destination.


DHL International

Please note that DHL international shipping varies by destination. For more information, email us at

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