LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- We are less than three weeks away from Christmas and within that time frame, the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver billions of holiday cards and presents.
To make sure every gift gets under the tree, with some help from Santa Claus and his elves, the postal service has important deadlines you need to know about.
Here are the dates to get your gifts and cards delivered on-time for Christmas:
· Nov. 6 – APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground®
· Dec. 4 – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail® and First-Class Mail®
· Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
· Dec. 14 – USPS Retail Ground
· Dec. 18 – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express®
· Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
· Dec. 20 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
· Dec. 20 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
· Dec. 20 – Priority Mail
· Dec. 20 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
· Dec. 22 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
· Dec. 22 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
· Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express® shipments mailed December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.
EXTENDED HOLIDAY HOURS
Since it’s their busiest time of year, the U.S. Postal Service has some of their offices open on Sunday.
In Southwest Florida, the USPS Fort Myers spokesperson, Michael Vazquez said every post office will be open on Sunday Dec. 9th and 16th. The offices will be open from 12-4PM.
The postal service also extended its hours in two post offices in Lee County:
1) 1030 SW 8th Avenue in Cape Coral. It’s open until 630PM.
2) 2655 N Airport Rd. in Fort Myers. It’s open until 530PM.
Vazquez said do not wait until the last minute to ship your gifts because the postal service is already busy.
Since Thanksgiving and through New Year’s Day, the postal service expects to deliver more than 16 billion pieces of mail and packages.
He said you should get to the post office 30 minutes before it opens to beat the long lines.
SKIP THE TRIP AND SHIP ONLINE
There is a way to ship your presents without even leaving your home.
You can go to USPS.com.
Create an account with Click N Ship.
You can print your shipping labels and buy postage online.
Then, request your package to be picked up on usps.com/pickup. It’s free regardless of the number of packages.
PACKAGING HOLIDAY GIFT TIPS
If you plan to mail your family and friends a package this holiday season, USPS shares some helpful tips:
1) Get a sturdy box reinforced with tape.
2) Bubble wrap your gift, especially if it’s fragile.
3) Take your time filling out the label.
4) Once it is shipped, track it on the USPS Informed Delivery App.
SHIPPING INTERNATIONAL OR MILITARY MAIL
To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $17.40 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.
For more information on all domestic and international mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom.