So you're shipping presents this holiday season. Whether you haven't mailed packages since this time last year or you're a first-timer, it's time for a bit of a refresher on the ol' USPS.

Never fear, friends. Here's a breakdown of all the crucial post office info to keep you from going postal this Christmas.


Shipping Deadlines

If you've got a pretty parcel that needs to arrive before Christmas, these are the USPS recommended shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 when shipping domestic. Find international, military, Alaska and Hawaii mail details here.

USPS Retail Ground ($)
• Ship by Dec. 17
• Estimated 2-5 business days

First-Class Mail ($)
• Ship by Dec. 17
• Estimated 1-5 business days for mail, 2–5 business days for small packages

Priority Mail ($$)
• Ship by Dec. 19
• 1-3 days

Priority Mail Express/Overnight ($$$)
• Ship by Dec. 23
• 1-2 days or overnight

Keep in mind that estimated shipping times could potentially be affected by the ongoing pandemic. To be safe, mail your packages ASAP.


Christmas Eve Schedule

With Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday this year, post offices nationwide will be open and mail will be delivered, but hours are posted at each post office location, so double check to see if yours closes early (many will). This also means the big, blue USPS collection boxes will still be serviced on Christmas Eve. Pro tip: Some might have their mail picked up earlier than normal, so drop your mail in the box before noon to be safe.


Christmas Day Schedule

Post offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Christmas Day, meaning regular mail will not be delivered. But all hope is not lost. Priority Mail Express will still be delivered on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


If you want to avoid the post office at all costs...

These three stay-at-home options were made for you. Now revel in the glory of the millennium as you

  • order free Priority Mail boxes to be delivered to your door.
  • pay for postage online and print your own shipping labels.
  • schedule a free package pickup from your doorstep.


And because we all get a case of holiday craziness, we're including this list of reminders (without judgement) that you should definitely know in your everyday life.

  • Sender's address goes on the top left of the box; receiver's address goes front and center.
  • Fill the open space in your shipping box with crumpled newspapers or other padding to keep the contents from tumbling around and getting damaged.
  • Only use clear packing tape on the shipping box.
  • Never try to ship any of this stuff.


If you have more questions, stop by your local post office or visit for more info.