Santa's elves aren't the only ones keeping busy right now. It is peak season for mailing and shipping services. The holidays bring a huge influx of business as people try to send their loved ones a gift across the globe.

Because so many people are trying to send things in the mail, services like Amazon, FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service have to flex their usual shipping schedules and cut-off dates just a bit. (For example, a package that usually only takes a few days to get somewhere may need to be sent out a week in advance this time of year.)

Don't sweat it if you haven't send everything out just yet - we have you covered. Here are the most important dates and deadlines you should know right now if you still have some shipping to do.

  • Aaron P. Bernstein, Getty Images
    Aaron P. Bernstein, Getty Images


    Amazon has several different shipping options. Their cut-off dates are based on your package arriving by the end of the day December 24th. The closest deadline is for those who plan to ship free and it varies from there. There are different shipping deadlines for places like Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. You can see all the shipping deadlines here.

  • Ron Wurzer, Getty Images
    Ron Wurzer, Getty Images


    UPS says they flex their delivery schedule a bit around this time of year to deal with increased demand so your usual shipping habits will also need to shift a bit, too. Some packages will need an additional day to get to their destination. The first delivery cut-off date is as early as December 18th. For a full holiday shipping schedule, click here.

  • Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
    Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

    U.S. Postal Service

    USPS has several cut-off dates, for national and international travel. Their list also includes deadlines for sending military mail. The first cut-off date is coming up quick. You can see all the deadline dates here. It is also important to note that they advise shipping even earlier than the dates shown if you are sending something outside of a major city.

  • Drew Angerer, Getty Images
    Drew Angerer, Getty Images


    FedEx is perfect for procrastinators. The shipping giant will deliver a package the day before Christmas Eve for a $16 fee. If you are planning on shipping a package with them, here's what you need to know. 

  • Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
    Justin Sullivan, Getty Images


    Walmart has been stepping up their online game over the past few years. If you are ordering gifts from the retail giant, you're time is almost up. According to several different websites, the deadline for freight shipping is Wednesday, December 13th (this is also the slowest option). The standard shipping deadline is the 19th with the rush shipping deadline on the 21st.

  • Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
    Justin Sullivan, Getty Images


    Target has a lot of great deals for the holiday season. They have an additional shipping option - choose "holiday shipping delivery" if available and the package is guaranteed to be delivered by then. Their website has answers to all your holiday shipping questions.

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