It doesn't matter if you're ordering gifts online or sending packages to family members -- if you don't do it soon, your packages may not arrive before the holidays begin.
Here are the important shipping deadlines you need to keep in mind. Get your orders in (or your mail out) by these dates, and you're guaranteed a Christmas delivery...barring weather-related delays, naturally.
If you're shipping via USPS, you will need to send your packages by the following dates in order to ensure they arrive before December 25. USPS will deliver mail as usual on December 24, but no mail will be delivered on December 25.
December 15: USPS Retail Ground
December 20: First-Class Mail
December 21: Priority Mail
December 23: Priority Mail Express Service
If you're shipping via FedEx, you will need to send your packages by the following dates in order to ensure they arrive by December 25. Some FedEx services (FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx 2Day) will deliver on Saturday, December 24, for an extra $16 Saturday delivery fee per package. Some FedEx services (FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City (Priority)) will deliver on Christmas day.
December 12: FedEx SmartPost
December 16: Fedex Ground, FedEx Home Delivery
December 20: FedEx Express Saver
December 21: FedEx 2Day, FedEx 2Day A.M.
December 22: FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx First Overnight
December 23: FedEx SameDay City (Standard)
December 25: FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City (Priority)
If you're shipping via UPS, you will need to send your packages by the following dates in order to ensure they arrive before December 24. Some UPS services (UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS Next Day Air) will deliver on Saturday, December 24. No UPS packages are delivered on Christmas day.
December 19: UPS 3 Day Select
December 21: UPS 2nd Day Air (Friday delivery)
December 22: UPS 2nd Day Air (Saturday delivery), UPS Next Day Air (Friday delivery)
December 23: UPS Next Day Air (Saturday delivery)
Ordering gifts online? Here are the shipping deadlines you'll need to meet for some popular online retailers. Order by these dates to ensure you'll get your packages by (or before) December 24:
December 16: Free shipping
December 19: Standard shipping
December 22: Two-day shipping (free with Prime)
December 23: One-day shipping (select cities, free with Prime)
December 24, 9:30 a.m. local time: Same-day delivery (select cities, free with Prime)
December 24, 9:45 p.m. local time: Two-hour delivery (select cities, free and exclusive with Prime via Prime Now)
December 14: Standard shipping (three to seven business days)
December 21: Two Day shipping
December 22: One Day shipping
December 23-24: Same day shipping (select areas and products)
The following shipping deadlines are for PCs marked "Ships Same Day," ordered by 2 p.m. CST:
December 16: Standard shipping
December 21: Expedited shipping
December 22: Express shipping
December 20, 1 p.m. CST: One day shipping
December 16: Standard shipping (three to five business days)
December 21: Premium shipping (two business days)
December 22: Express shipping (one business day)
December 24, 1:30 p.m. local time: Rush delivery
Toys R Us
December 19: Free shipping (with $19 purchase by 11:50 p.m. ET)
December 21: Expedited shipping (3 p.m. ET), Express shipping (11:59 p.m. ET)
December 24: Free store pickup (6 p.m. local time)
Holiday Gift Guide 2016
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Check out CNET's 2016 gift ideas for expert advice, reviews, and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Dec 27Think the holiday deals are done? Think again
Dec 26How to sell or swap gift cards
Dec 24Last-minute digital gifts and subscriptions
Dec 23Talking holiday toys that can become your kid's digital friend