If the holiday season crept up on you without warning (wasn't it July, yesterday?), you likely still have some holiday shopping to do. And this year with the pandemic plus a surge in online holiday sales, we can expect shipping slowdowns similar to what we saw in March and April. Luckily, retailers are making it easier by working around the clock to make sure your packages arrive before Christmas morning. But there are holiday shipping deadlines, and in 2020, they're earlier than ever. Read on to find out the last possible day you can place an order at all your favorite stores to ensure delivery before Christmas Day.
What is the deadline for mailing Christmas packages?
It depends on who you ask. According to Adobe, December 11 would usually be the last day for cheaper shipping based on previous years' trends — but they advise to send packages even before then this year. That said, here are the domestic holiday shipping deadlines according to major delivery services:
December 15: Last date to send packages using the retail ground service.
December 18: Deadline to send packages via First-Class Mail.
December 19: Deadline to send for Priority Mail, and by December 23 for Priority Mail Express.
*Note that UPS has shipping limits on certain retailers.
December 15: Send packages by this date for UPS Ground.
December 21: Last date to ship via UPS 3 Day Select.
December 22: Last date to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air.
December 23: Deadline to send packages using UPS Next Day Air.
December 15: Deadline to send packages via FedEx Home Delivery or FedEx Ground.
December 21: Last date to send packages via FedEx express Saver or 3 Day Freight.
December 22: Last date to send packages via FedEX 2Day A.M., 2 Day Freight, or 2 Day.
December 23: Deadline to send packages via FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, or First Overnight.
December 25: Packages can be sent via Same Day City Priority or City Direct.
More Holiday Shipping Deadlines, by Retailer
Amazon: The official Holiday Delivery Calendar isn't yet up for 2020, but in the past, you can order by December 15 for free shipping and by December 22 for two-day shipping (free for Prime Members). Prime Members can also order certain items in select cities using two-hour delivery up until December 24 at 9:45 p.m. local time.
Anthropologie: Order by December 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET using standard, December 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET using US Express, and December 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET using overnight for delivery by December 22.
Barnes & Noble: Order by December 16 at 11:59 a.m. ET for free shipping. Order by December 21 at 11:59 a.m. ET using express shipping for guaranteed delivery by December 22.
Best Buy: You can check the link to see exact shipping dates for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. You can score free next-day delivery on thousands of items or take advantage of one-hour in-store pickup.
Kmart: Order by December 16 at 4 p.m. CST for free shipping, December 18 same time for standard shipping, and by December 20 same for premium shipping. You can pick up orders in-store on Christmas Eve by 3 p.m.
Kohl's: Order by December 19 at 1 p.m. CST using two-day delivery and by December 20 same time via one-day delivery.
Macy's: Order most in-stock merchandise by December 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET using standard shipping, or you can take advantage of same-day delivery on Christmas Eve by 10 a.m. local time.
Nordstrom: Holiday dates aren't up yet, but note that gift cards arrive within one week via standard shipping, special orders may require up to eight days for delivery and custom items usually arrive in three or four weeks.
Sears: Order by December 18 at 4 p.m. CST using standard delivery, or December 20 same time using premium delivery.
Sephora: Official dates aren't up yet, but in the past you would order by 3 p.m. on December 21 using Sephora's free FLASH shipping.
Ulta: Deadlines have passed for delivery by Christmas Eve.
Urban Outfitters: Order by December 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET using standard shipping, December 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET using express shipping, or December 21 at 1 p.m. ET using rush shipping to get your gift by December 23.
Walmart: Free next-day delivery is available on eligible items over $35, as well as two-day shipping. Orders must be placed by 2 p.m. local time.
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