USPS Christmas Gift Shipping Deadlines Approaching Fast

URBANDALE, Iowa -- Get those packages ready! According to the United States Postal Service, the busiest mailing and shipping week starts on December 17.

Abbey Sires. who helps run an online jewelry business, said she makes a trip or several to her local post office, “All day every day we are back and forth.”

Sires said she is sending thousands of pieces of jewelry on Friday in hopes the pieces make it to their destinations before the busiest mailing and shipping week of the year.

“They are Christmas presents for a lot of people actually. We sell on Amazon so we’re shipping all of this to amazon and then they’ll go out from there,” Sires said.

With 20 percent more packages going in and out than previous years, postal workers said they are working until late in the evening to make sure presents arrive on time.

“They need to make sure that we can see their address. When they are out in the dark, it’s really hard to read the house address. So if they can leave the porch light on that would help a lot,” Natalie Welter, with USPS, said.

There are also some popular gift items that can’t be mailed through USPS.

“We can’t mail perfume, no tobacco products or alcohol. Lithium batteries, you need to make sure that they are installed correctly into the device and powered off. Any other type of battery needs to be removed from the device or shipped in the manufacturer's original packaging,” Sherry Grandberg, with USPS, said.

In order to prevent package thefts, postal workers said it’s best to specify delivery instructions on the USPS website and check your front porch multiple times a day.

“So we have extra people come and deliver nothing but parcels. So sometimes you might see us come to your house two or three times day because of the volume we have in the back we Can’t get it all sorted at once,” welter said.

But most importantly, Abbey Sires said mailing packages early and on time makes all the difference for the Christmas season.

“On time, Oh it’s detrimental to our company if we don’t. I mean we have to get them in and out as quickly as we can just to beat the holiday rush and everything just to get them to amazon on time,” Sires said.

Christmas shipping deadlines:

  • For packages going to military members overseas they must go out before Dec. 11.
  • Priority Mail Express needs to be mailed by Dec. 22.
  • Priority Mail and First Class Mail needs to be sent by Dec. 20.
  • USPS Retail Ground needs to be mailed by Dec. 14.