WASHINGTON, DC — It’s the last week to get those holiday gifts and greetings in the mail by the recommended deadlines. Dec. 14-21 is expected to be the United States Postal Service’s busiest week of the holiday mailing and shipping season.

This has been an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the COVID-19 pandemic — and the US Postal Service is expecting significant increases in the volume of mail and packages. Sunday delivery was expanded in select high package volume locations, and the agency already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.

Wrap it Up Without Leaving Home

If you prefer to handle shipping your gifts online, the Postal Service has you covered. You can easily ship that holiday gift, order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from usps.com and our Click-N-Ship feature. An added bonus is, usps.comis always open.


2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

  • Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
  • Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service


  • Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail Express


  • Dec. 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express

Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, US Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22-25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

Important Reminders

• Mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and/or measuring more than a half-inch thick and using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a retail associate at your local Post Office. This requirement does not apply to Click-N-Ship customers.

• Certain items may have restrictions or prohibitions when it comes to sending through the mail. Please see the list of hazardous, restricted and perishable mail or ask a Postal Service employee for more information on what can and can’t be sent through the mail.

• Battery-operated devices may turn on and make noise in transit. To prevent this, remove batteries from any battery-operated device, if possible, or make sure the device it turned off. Wrap and place the batteries next to the items in the package. Customers should include new batteries in the unopened, original manufacturer’s packaging if at all possible.

Additional Tips

The Postal Service also offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to address packages, ship packages and pack a box so items arrive safely.

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing, and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom: usps.com/holidaynews.

The US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.