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Important shipping deadlines for Christmas 2019

With a shorter shopping season this year, don't miss the cutoff dates
Posted at 10:36 AM, Dec 09, 2019

Mason McCarty was busy packing up holiday gifts at Safe Ship in Ft. Thomas, KY, to get them out before shipping rates take a big jump.

"We just want to let everyone know to get in here by Friday the 20th, to get all your packages shipped out," he said. "If not, you kind of get stuck in that overnight shipping, Monday the 23rd."

He says customers don't want to get stuck with high overnight fees, which can be as much as $50 for a box of gifts.

Important shipping deadlines for Christmas 2019


  • Ground: Friday, December 13
  • 2-Day Air: Friday, December 20


  • Ground: Monday, December 16
  • 2-Day Air: Friday, December 20

US Postal Service

  • Retail Ground: Saturday, December 14
  • Priority Mail: Friday, December 21

The deadline for next-day air with most services is Monday, December 23, but expect to pay a small fortune. See more shipping deadlines for each service in this report from


The key day for Amazon guaranteed free shipping is Saturday, December 14.

Amazon standard 3- to 5-day shipping is Wednesday, December 18.

Prime members, however, may qualify for same-day shipping in some areas until December 24.

Caution before self-packing

One other mistake people make this time of year, besides waiting too long, is then trying to pack all the boxes themselves.

Safe Ship owner Elliott Heil says he sees people wrap fragile gifts in just a few sheets of newspaper, which he says is too risky.

"If it's very fragile, we know how to pack it and make it to California or any destination. Bring your fragile gifts to us; don't try to pack them yourself."

For around $5, they will use bubble wrap and the strongest box you can get, guaranteeing a safe, fast shipment.

You can also have your boxes packed at any UPS store for a small fee. It's well worth it if it keeps that vase, ornament, or Nativity set from breaking.

And that way you don't waste your money.


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