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Holiday Shipping Deadlines for USPS, FedEx and UPS in 2022

Must-read guidance for mailing cards and gifts to get them there on time

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Ho, ho, hoping your holiday cards and gifts arrive on time?

Of course you are. Polite people prefer punctuality. That’s especially true when you send out mail and packages at Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever end-of-year holiday you and your loved ones celebrate.

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You’d be smart to heed to the holiday shipping deadlines established by the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS.

Mountains of first-class letters and packages already are on the move. FedEx alone, for example, says it will deliver “hundreds of millions” of packages during the holiday rush.

Holiday Dates for 2022

Christmas is Dec. 25, which falls on a Sunday.

Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 18, and ends the evening of Monday, Dec. 26. The dates vary by year.

Kwanzaa is celebrated from Dec. 26 until Sunday, Jan. 1. Dates for the weeklong celebration stay the same annually.

The deadlines are key since a rise in online buying and package deliveries is forecast this year. Plus the dreaded supply-chain issues refuse to disappear, potentially stalling the arrival of a gift on your wish list. According to UPS, industry challenges include tight airfreight capacity, backlogs at ocean ports and truck driver shortages.

A caution for procrastinators: This year Christmas falls on a Sunday, and U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS offices will not be open that day. They will also be shuttered the next day, Monday, Dec. 26, so their (exhausted) workers will have the day off and can rest (although UPS offices will be open in a few limited locations).

U.S. Postal Service

These are the key deadlines for domestic mail deliveries in the contiguous 48 states for deliveries before Dec. 25:

The U.S. Postal Service says its official holiday season began on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and continues through New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. Typically, the last two weeks before Christmas are the busiest stretch.

Sue Brennan, a U.S. Postal Service senior public relations representative, urges consumers to mail early, especially when sending packages to “areas of the country impacted by inclement weather.” ​

The service does not release projections on holiday mail volume, but Brennan projects confidence, saying, “We have worked hard all year, and we are ready to deliver the holidays to the American public.”

Important to know: Mail to and from Hawaii and Alaska, overseas military mail and other international mail often have earlier deadlines. Here’s more if you’re interested.


These are the company's deadlines for deliveries before Dec. 25 within the U.S.:

  • Dec. 8 for FedEx Ground Economy
  • Dec. 14* for FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 20 for FedEx Express Saver
  • Dec. 21 for FedEx Express 2 Day Shipping
  • Dec. 22 for FedEx Express Overnight and Priority Overnight
  • Dec. 23 for FedEx Express Same Day Delivery
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“We’re all in for the holidays,” Brie Carere, chief customer officer for FedEx Corp., says. “We’ve been working with our customers throughout the year to plan for this peak."

*This deadline applies to packages dropped off at staffed FedEx locations. Transit times vary based on destination and typically are one to five days in the contiguous U.S. and three to seven days in Alaska and Hawaii, the company says.

Here’s more on FedEx holiday deadlines.


Deadlines for UPS Ground Shipping vary. From now through Jan. 14, some UPS Ground and UPS Standard packages with transit times of three or more days, with certain origins and destinations, will require more time, the company says. To calculate delivery times and costs, visit​

These are other UPS deadlines for Dec. 24 delivery:

  • Dec. 20 for UPS 3 Day Select
  • Dec. 21 for UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Dec. 22 for UPS Next Day Air

The company says it can process 130,000 more packages per hour than last year and is “preparing to make this one of the most successful holiday shipping seasons ever.”

“More than 500,000 UPSers are already hard at work delivering gifts around the globe this holiday season,” Nando Cesarone, the company's executive vice president.

Find more on UPS holiday deadlines here.

This article was originally published on November 13, 2020. It has been updated to reflect new information. 

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