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Holiday Mailing Deadlines - Tips
Don't be a tardy Santa. Follow these USPS guidelines.
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Want your holiday mail to be delivered in time? Sure you do. Here, from the U.S. Postal Service, are the suggested latest dates and tips for preparing and mailing cards, letters and packages this holiday season.

Suggested Mailing dates
  • International Mail should be mailed as soon as possible.
  • Parcel Post should be mailed no later than the second week of December.
  • Priority Mail by the third week of December.
  • Express Mail by the 21st of December.
Mailing Greeting Cards

Whenever possible, customers who receive door delivery are welcome to give their holiday and other mail they are sending to their letter carrier, rather than placing it in a collection box or making a special trip to the post office. Customers who receive curbside delivery may leave their mail in their receptacle for pickup.

Preparing Packages
  • PRINT addresses clearly.
  • Include all address elements (apartment numbers, suite numbers, directional information for streets, etc.).
  • Include both "to" and "from" information on packages - and only on one side; no extra writing; tape parcel with shipping tape or tape that won't come off in transit; cushion contents appropriately.
  • Never guess a ZIP Code -- NO ZIP is better than WRONG ZIP!
Packaging Tips
  • Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.
  • Package contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn is also good for cushioning; it's inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.
  • Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced tape, paper tape, or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape.
  • Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape.
  • Put the delivery and return addresses on only one side of the package.
  • Recommendation: Place an index card inside the package that contains the sender's address and the recipient's address along with a list of the contents. This will help us re-pack boxes that were improperly wrapped and came apart during transporting and processing and help ensure that the package is either sent to its destination or back to the sender.
  • Take packages that weigh at least 1 pound into the post office for mailing. Do not put boxes into your neighborhood mailbox or expect for your mail carrier to pick them up for you.
  • Obtain Express Mail and Priority Mail boxes, envelopes, and tubes for free from your post office.
Prior to Mailing
  • Stuff glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage due to shock. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.
  • Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box.
Special Tips
  • Access the Postal Service's web site, www.usps.com, for postage calculations, the latest addressing information, and unique gifts. Avoid waiting in line for your Holiday stamps by using Stamps by Phone (1-800-STAMP24), Stamps by Mail, or stamps from postal self-service vending machines, neighborhood retail outlets and ATMs.

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