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Postal Service posts deadlines for getting packages there by Christmas

The U.S. Postal Service has released its annual mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to places around the world.

The list pertains to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

  • Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
  • 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • 18 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • 19 — Priority Mail service
  • 23 — Priority Mail Express* service


  • 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
  • 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail
  • 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail Express


  • 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express

Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions.

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.

To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $19.60 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.

To handle this year’s holiday shipping, the Postal Service is expanding Sunday deliveries in high package volume locations. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.

Busiest Week

The Postal Service’s busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14 – 21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.

Holiday Advertising Campaign

The Postal Service’s 2020 holiday campaign features direct mail, TV, radio, print, digital and social media promotions highlighting the organization’s proud tradition of delivering cheer and value to consumers and businesses.

The first of several TV spots began airing mid-November and can be viewed on USPS-TV. A direct mail piece with information customers need to know for the holidays will be mailed to more than 100 million homes by Thanksgiving.

The Postal Service also offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to address packages, ship packages and pack a box so items arrive safely.

Mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up if you’re using stamps for postage. Instead, take them to a retail associate at any of our Post Office locations.

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing, and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom:


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