Procrastination is my middle name

Because of this, I'm a very unlikely candidate for getting anything out on time when it comes to shipping packages. Even if I sell something on eBay and need to get it out in a timely fashion, I'm usually sprinting into UPS to drop the package off and get it on its way.

Thankfully, when it comes to the holidays, my family is very small and very local. So getting presents together is usually done at the local level as well, if possible. But from time to time, we all need to ship a package out for Christmas, and with all that's been going on with the pandemic, shipping is a fragile business.

The key is getting it done as soon as possible

The new rule this year: The earlier, the better. Last year, Christmas was a nightmare for some, as packages were arriving well into the new year. So if one were to start planning, what would be the absolute last days you can get packages out to family, and still have them arrive on time? By the way, Hanukkah is pretty early this year, so it shouldn't be affected much at all. Hooray for Hanukkah!

According to WMTW, the biggest shipping companies, including the USPS, are all in the same zip code (pun fully intended) as far as when you need to have packages out.

  • UPS doesn't give a cutoff date this year but implies cross-country shipping takes about a week, so likely no later than December 17.
  • FedEx suggests you should have your presents on the road by December 13.
  • The US Post Office suggests the same date of December 13.

After that, FedEx and the USPS both say they're cutting off ground service on December 15. But let's be real here... Does it matter to you how soon before Christmas your presents arrive? Because if you ship them by say, the first week of December, or maybe even as late as the 10th, how bad can that be?

Presents are meant to sit under the tree for a few days anyway. So maybe this year, you just take that one piece of stress cake off your holiday plate. Or, you can continue to be a Last Minute Larry or Lana. Your choice. Either way, Happy Holidays!

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