Holiday Shipping Deadlines Are Out — Here’s When You Need to Get Your Holiday Cookies Mailed By

published Oct 13, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

We’ve all run into this pitfall, season after season. We try to send gifts, homemade baked goods, and other treats to friends and family in time for holidays, only to find out they don’t arrive in time or — what might be even more disappointing — in their best form. And while there’s not much we can do about that last part once our gifts are in transit, thankfully, we do have guidelines to help us make sure they can make it there in time.

Though the holiday season is more than two months away, major package carriers — including the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS — have all posted recommended ship-by dates on their websites for getting packages safely to their destination in time. While it’s always possible you will get lucky and things will arrive sooner, these are guidelines you should really try to keep in mind when sending Christmas cookies or Hanukkah gelt over the course of the next few months.

CBS News recently shared a report that shipping delays are more of an issue than ever due to labor shortages and an increase in shipping traffic, so erring on the side of being early will absolutely work in everyone’s favor for the 2021 season.

So, make your list and check it twice — for shipping deadlines, that is!

  • USPS Ground: December 15
  • First Class Mail: December 17
  • Priority Mail: December 18
  • Priority Mail Express: December 23
  • Military APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground service: November 6
  • Military APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail: December 9
  • Military APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services: December 11
  • FedEx Ground Economy: December 9
  • FedEx Ground: December 15
  • Home Delivery: December 15
  • Express Saver:  December 21
  • 2-Day: December 22
  • Overnight Services: December 23
  • FedEx Same Day: December 24
  • UPS 3 Day Select: December  21 
  • UPS 2nd Day Air services: December. 22
  • UPS Next Day Air services: December 23 
  • UPS Ground Shipping: Check UPS website calculator for an estimate.