Holiday Shipping/Mailing Dates

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    To ensure delivery of holiday cards and packages to military service members by Dec. 25, the U.S. Postal Service reports mail must be sent by specific cutoff dates before Christmas.

    Holiday Dates for Domestic Mail (Continental U.S.)

    Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before Dec. 25. *1

    Domestic Mail Class/ProductCutoff Date
    Standard USPS Retail GroundDec. 17
    First-Class MailDec. 17
    Priority MailDec. 19
    Priority Mail Express *2Dec. 23


    Holiday Shipping Dates for Alaska and Hawaii

    Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before Dec. 25. *1

    DestinationFirst-Class Mail® ServicePriority Mail® ServicePriority Mail Express® Service *2USPS Retail Ground®
    AlaskaDec. 17Dec. 17Dec. 21Dec. 2
    HawaiiDec. 17Dec. 17Dec. 21N/A


    Holiday Dates for International Mail

    International Mail Addressed to:First-Class Package International Service®Priority Mail International® (PMI) ServicePriority Mail Express International® (PMEI) ServiceGlobal Express Guaranteed® Service Service *3
    AfricaNov. 29Nov. 29Dec. 6Dec. 20
    Asia/Pacific RimDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 20
    Australia/New ZealandDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 20
    CanadaDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 22
    CaribbeanDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 21
    Central and South AmericaNov. 29Nov. 29Dec. 6Dec. 20
    EuropeDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 21
    MexicoDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 22
    Middle EastDec. 6Dec. 6Dec. 13Dec. 20


    Holiday Dates for Military Mail

    Military MailUSPS Retail Ground® ServiceFirst-Class Mail® ServicePriority Mail® ServicePriority Mail Express Military® Service (PMEMS) *6
    Addressed to:
    APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092Nov. 5Dec. 9Dec. 9Dec. 16
    APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP 093Nov. 5Dec. 9Dec. 9N/A
    APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-098Nov. 5Dec. 9Dec. 9Dec. 16
    APO/FPO/DPO AA ZIP 340Nov. 5Dec. 9Dec. 9Dec. 16
    APO/FPO/DPO AP ZIPs 962-966Nov. 5Dec. 9Dec. 9Dec. 16
      1. Delivery dates may vary depending on origin, destination, post office acceptance date and time and other conditions, including customs and other delays.
      2. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only for shipments not delivered or delivery was not attempted within two business days.
      3. GXG notes: Dates are for estimated deliveries before Dec. 25. Actual delivery dates may vary and some restrictions apply.
      4. Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS) is available to select military and diplomatic post offices. Check with your local post office to determine availability for Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) addresses.
      5. APO = Army Post Office, FPO = Fleet Post Office, AE = Armed Forces Europe, AA = Armed Forces Americas, AP = Armed Forces Pacific.

      Post offices offer free USPS military care kits which include:

      • Two Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate boxes
      • Four Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate boxes
      • Priority Mail tape
      • Priority Mail address labels
      • Six custom forms envelopes

      Call 1-800-610-8734 to order the kit.

      Express Mail Military Service (EMMS) is available from select military post offices. If mailing to an APO/FPO address, check with your local post office to determine availability.


      Can I use FedEx, United Parcel Service or DHL to ship to APO addresses?

      Only USPS, in conjunction with the Military Postal Service Agency, delivers to APO/FPO/DPO addresses. However, there are solutions such as FedEx SmartPost and ShipitAPO that work with the USPS to ensure delivery

      FedEx SmartPost ships to the USPS location closest to the point of destination. Final delivery to recipients is handled by USPS, and prices can be cheaper than USPS.

      ShipitAPO allows shoppers ordering online to ship to any APO/FPO/DPO address. When a company doesn’t allow APO/FPO/DPO shipping, people with a ShipitAPO account can send the package to ShipitAPO, which ships the package to an APO/FPO/DPO address.

      Can my care package to an international service member still get there if I ship after the deadline?

      There is a chance, but there are no assurances. The only way to guarantee delivery is to send your package on or before the deadline dates listed.

      Is there a way to deliver a package to overseas military members after the shipping deadline?

      FedEx SmartPost is your best option. By shipping through FedEx, you can bypass USPS and track the delivery status. Contact FedEx to confirm delivery dates. This is not a guaranteed solution, but it’s your best option if you missed the cutoff.

      Can I internationally ship an iPad or any electronic device with a lithium battery to an APO/FPO/DPO address?

      Yes. According to the United States Postal Service, U.S. customers can send items with lithium batteries to APO, FPO and DPO locations, – as long as the battery is installed in the equipment it is intended to operate.

      Click here for other tips on sending military care packages overseas.

    Written by Team