Christmas shipping deadlines for 2023: See the last days to order and send parcels

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The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, but it won’t be long before time runs out on deadlines for sending Christmas packages. Shippers as well as retailers have announced deadlines for Christmas 2023 to get gifts to their destinations on time.

With just 20 days left until Christmas, which falls on a Monday this year, the windows for receiving and shipping goods without having to pay an expedited delivery premium are narrowing. Below you can find the last day to ship Christmas packages via the US Postal Service, the last day to ship packages via UPS and FedEx, and the last day to order for Christmas delivery at major retailers.

USPS Christmas Deadline

The United States Postal Service has announced cut-off dates for delivery in time for Christmas.

  • December 16 is the cutoff for 5-day shipping using USPS Ground Advantage and First-Class Mail services.
  • If you pay for 4-day shipping, you have until December 18 to send packages and have them arrive under the tree for Christmas.
  • Consumers have until Dec. 21 if they use the USPS’s Priority Mail Express 1-day shipping option.

Remember, USPS will not deliver regular mail on Christmas Day. And because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, the last scheduled day for regular USPS delivery is Saturday, December 23rd.

For Priority Mail Express mail, if a holiday premium is paid, the last scheduled delivery day is Sunday, December 24th.

Postage costs vary depending on the type of package you are sending and its destination.

FedEx Christmas deadline

With FedEx is deadline for sending Christmas packages also varies depending on the service.

  • The last day to ship a package with FedEx Ground Economy services is December 13.
  • For FedEx Ground 5-day shipping, it is December 15th.
  • For 1-day shipping, it is December 21 – the Thursday before the bank holiday.

FedEx also offers express services that buy last-minute gift givers more time.

  • Last day to ship packages to arrive on or before Sunday, December 24th is Friday, December 22nd via FedEx SameDay Delivery.

All FedEx services, except for FedEx Custom Critical, is closed Christmas Day.

UPS Christmas deadline

UPS, which is also closed for Christmas, recommends the following deadlines for package deliveries in time for the big holiday.

  • Send gifts by December 19th with UPS’s 3-day delivery option, called UPS 3 Day Select, so they arrive on December 23rd.
  • Ship by December 21st under UPS Next Day Air services.
  • Customers have until December 22 with the shipper’s Saturday delivery options.

Major retailers

Some major retailers have announced their own purchase deadlines for on-time holiday delivery.

  • Bookseller Barnes and Noble says December 16 is the last day for standard shipping Christmas delivery. Express Shipping allows customers to purchase gifts online until December 19th. Collection of goods in stores is also an option.
  • Order from outdoor retailer REI no later than 9am PT on December 19th for Christmas delivery via standard shipping. Collect goods in store for faster collection.

Where you might want to order even earlier

  • Because it customizes items, Shutterfly, which makes custom cards and giftware, has earlier delivery times. If you choose Basic Economy Shipping, Shutterfly’s last day to order for Christmas is December 14th, to allow 6-10 days for production and delivery. Visit website for more details.
  • Similarly, many sellers on Etsy, a marketplace where independent makers sell handmade goods, make gifts that take time to make and require more lead time to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

Check out CBS Essentials for more Christmas shopping ideas:

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