If you haven't started holiday shopping yet or have a few things left to buy, you'll need to act fast (here are some deals on gifts for everyone, including , , and ). That's because holiday shipping deadlines start this week and you'll want to make sure your packages will arrive in time for Christmas or Kwanzaa.
To give you the best odds of having your letters and packages arrive on time this year, the US Postal Service, UPS, Amazon and FedEx have each circled the dates you need to hit -- specifically to arrive in time for Christmas, Dec. 25, and Kwanzaa, which begins Dec. 26. (You'll want to add in buffer time for arrival dates before the end of December.)
Here are the 2021 Christmas shipping schedules for the big three package delivery services. If you're looking to send a memorable present, you can always check out CNET's favorite holiday gift picks. And here are some ideas for .
FedEx shipping deadlines for Dec. 25
If you're a last-minute shipper, FedEx lets you ship on Dec. 24 for a Dec. 25 delivery, but it won't be cheap. If you want a less costly option, FedEx's ground delivery deadline is Dec. 15.
Here are the dates FedEx recommends you ship by (PDF) to have your package arrive by Dec. 25 in the US.
FedEx holiday shipment deadlines
|Domestic service||Ship date|
|3Day Friday, Express Saver||Dec. 21|
|2Day Freight, 2Day||Dec. 22|
|1Day Freight, Extra Hours||Dec. 23|
|Same Day||Dec. 24|
UPS shipping deadlines for Dec. 25
UPS holiday shipment deadlines
|Domestic service||Ship date|
|Ground||Check the UPS website for deadlines|
|3-Day Select||Dec. 21|
|2nd Day Air||Dec. 22|
|Next Day Air||Dec. 23|
USPS shipping deadlines for Dec. 25
Saying it's trying to get its house in order, the US Postal Service is post office recommends you circle on your calendar if you want your packages to arrive by Christmas this year.and temporarily boosting the cost of shipping parcels during the holidays. Here are the dates the
USPS holiday shipment deadlines
|Domestic service||Date (excluding Alaska and Hawaii)||Date for Alaska||Date for Hawaii|
|USPS Retail Ground||Dec. 15||Dec. 2||N/A|
|First-Class Mail||Dec. 17||Dec. 18||Dec. 17|
|Priority Mail||Dec. 18||Dec. 18||Dec. 17|
|Priority Mail Express||Dec. 23||Dec. 21||Dec. 21|
Amazon shipping deadlines for Dec. 25
You can cut some time out of the shopping and mailing process by ordering from Amazon and shipping the package directly to someone as long as you have their address. Here are the dates you'll want to order by to get the packages delivered on time. Note that these guaranteed delivery dates are forand not all items have the same shipping timelines. The product listing page will give you an estimated shipping date.
Amazon holiday shipment deadlines
|Shipping type||Deadline to buy||Date delivered|
|2-day shipping||Dec. 22||Dec. 24|
|1-day shipping||Dec. 23||Dec. 24|
|Same day delivery||Dec. 24||Dec. 24|
|e-Gift card delivery||Dec. 25||Dec. 25|
Did you know you can? To make sure your packages stay delivered, here's how to . And here are some .