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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:
- Dec. 17 for first-class mail and retail ground service
- Dec. 19 for priority mail service
- Dec. 23 for priority mail express Service
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.”