This week is the busiest mailing week of the holiday season

If you've procrastinated sending out your gifts and holiday cards, don't worry you still have time to get them delivered by Christmas — just not much time. This week kicks off the U.S. Postal Service's busiest week of the holiday season across the country. 

While the USPS predicted that shipping would start to go up last week, the week of Dec. 6, this week from Dec. 13-18, USPS expects around 2.3 billion pieces of First Class Mail to go through its system. In order to help you get your deliveries on their way, recommends using their flat rate boxes, using their resources online at, or scheduling a package pickup with your mail carrier. However, packages heavier than 10 ounces or more than half an inch thick can't be dropped into collection boxes or left for mail carriers.

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So what are the deadlines to make sure your gifts get to your loved ones by the holidays? The first big deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 15, for ground service. But for those who choose to wait until the last minute, Dec. 21 is the deadline for Priority Mail Express. 

Here's the full list:

Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service 

Dec. 16 — USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service and First-Class packages under 16 ounces Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service
Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express*

For mail between Alaska and the continental U.S.:

Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express between Hawaii and the continental U.S.

For mail between Hawaii and the continental U.S.:
Dec. 17 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail.
Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

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