The holidays are ALMOST here. Time is flying by and it's time to start thinking ahead - especially when it comes to your holiday shopping.

The United States Postal Service wants to help you cut back on stress that the end of the year can bring - they just released their holiday shipping deadlines in order for a package to arrive on a doorstep by Christmas.

Whether you're sending a small card in the mail or a big gift, you'll want to mark these dates down. The following dates are the recommended cut off delivery time if you want your gift to arrive to your loved one by December 25th of this year:

  • 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

As always, this is not a guarantee. It is always better to send things off earlier to ensure they arrive by the 25th. Many factors can play a role in this so the sooner you send something, the better chance you have of it getting there in a timely manner.

According to the United States Postal Service, the week of December 17th through the 23rd will be their busiest when it comes to mailing, shipping and delivering packages, with an estimated 3 million pieces of mail likely to trek all over the place.

Apparently, what used to be their "busiest day" is now ancient history. Instead, USPS now faces a two week period before Christmas where customer traffic increases tremendously.

You better to get to shopping and shipping before it's too late.