The holiday season is upon us. Here are some tips and deadlines to make the shipping season merry and bright:

Deadlines

The Postal Service is suggesting these mail-by dates and tips to help customers mail and ship conveniently for the holidays:

Key Shipping Dates for Dec. 25th Arrival:

• Dec. 14 – Priority Mail Express International

• Dec. 14 – Retail Ground

• Dec. 19 – First-Class Mail

• Dec. 20 – Priority Mail

• Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express

 

Delivering Holiday Cheer to Service Members

•APO/FPO First-Class Mail Letters and Cards - Dec. 11

• APO/FPO Priority Mail – Dec. 11

• APO/FPO Priority Mail Express Military Service – Dec. 16

Shipping Deadlines - For a full list of domestic, military and international deadlines please go to http://about.usps.com/holidaynews/

Stamps

There are a number of Forever holiday stamps for customers to choose from including: Christmas Carols and The Snowy Day (pictured at top); Diwali; Eid; Hanukkah; Holiday Windows; Kwanzaa; Madonna and Child; Nativity; and Songbirds.

Holiday stamps can be delivered to any address when ordered through usps.com, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 or by completing a Stamps-By-Mail form (available from mail carriers).

 

Convenience Options and Services

Preview what’s coming to your mailbox:

Sign up for Informed Delivery today at www.InformedDelivery.com.The free notification feature provides outside images of letter-sized mail destined for home delivery as well as delivery alerts for packages.

 

Visit usps.com to ship and send in just a few clicks:

1. Analyze prices, shipping options and delivery times by using the Calculate a Price tool.

2. Receive a discount at checkout on select products when you print, prepare and pay for shipping labels with Click-N-Ship®.

3. Schedule a next day Package Pickup for no extra charge.

4. Order stamps via usps.com for delivery to your home.

Visit local retailers to purchase holiday stamps and mail packages

1. Many grocery stores, pharmacies and national retailers sell holiday stamps.

2. Several local retailers offer postal shipping services in the evening and on weekends.

3. To find the closest ones and their hours, go to usps.com and under Quick Tool click on Find USPS Locations.

Packaging Tips

How to pack a gift like a pro:

1. Pick a strong and sturdy box, and tape it closed tightly.

2. Cushion contents to protect them during transportation, and wrap glass and other fragile items with extra newspaper or packing material.

3. Place wrapped gift boxes inside a plain larger box.

4. Remove all batteries from electronics.

5. Remember to place an extra shipping label inside the box, so the item can be returned in case the box or label gets damaged.

Successful shipping tips

1. Print addresses clearly and in CAPS.

2. Include complete ‘to’ and ‘from’ info.

3. Check usps.com for the correct ZIP Code — never guess.

4. Put mailing label on the inside of the package, with the contents.

5. Be sure to label a box as ‘FRAGILE’ if it needs to be handled with extra care.

6. Visit usps.com to pay and print postage and schedule a pickup, or drop off your gift for delivery at the Post Office™.

Ship gifts across the globe without leaving home:

1. Use the Postage Calculator tool on usps.com to check prices and compare options.

2. Visit usps.com to complete a customs form and pay the postage.

3. Print your shipping label.

4. Schedule a free next day Package Pickup, or drop off your gift at your local Post Office.

For letters and cards

1. Use sturdy envelopes, especially when inserting gift cards inside.

2. If sending a gift card, consider sticking an address label on the gift card; if item is separated from envelope it can be recovered for delivery.

3. Never send cash.

 

Postal facts

· USPS will handle approximately 15 billion letters, cards and packages during this holiday season.

· Of those, approximately 850 million will be packages – up 10% from last holiday.

· In many areas, delivery of packages will occur 7 days per week (adding Sunday) to facilitate extra volume.

Please note: Postal carriers will be out early; out late; and out most Sundays to deliver holiday mail expeditiously.

Customers are asked to leave their lights on and their dogs restrained to ensure postal employees have a great holiday too.

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

Be sure to follow us on Facebook (US Postal Service) and Twitter (@USPS) for holiday help throughout the season!