Once airlines started charging for checked baggage, it really messed up my MO of flying with one suitcase full of gifts for my family Christmas in my Iowa hometown. The idea was that I’d lug all the presents home for free, then have an empty bag to carry back all the loot I received! Now the jig is up, so I wind up shipping holiday gifts. If that’s you too, it’s important to know how much time you have to get those gifts where they’re going in time.
Here are the last days to ship domestic packages via standard ground shipping for guaranteed delivery before Christmas (check websites for military and international shipping dates).
United States Postal Service: Thursday,
Dec. 20. For info, click here.
UPS: Thursday, Dec. 20. For info, click here.
Fed Ex: Monday, Dec. 17. For info, click here.
You may pay a bit less at the post office, according to a recent price comparison by Cheapism.com. If you’re gifting books or DVDs, use Media Mail, which has the cheapest rates of all but are limited only to those media items (nothing else can be in the package!).
And in case you’re wondering,
those flat-rate boxes usually will save you money, says Cheapism. Just be sure
to ask for quotes for various shipping methods; in some cases, faster shipping
didn’t cost much (if any) more than slower. For more of Cheapism’s findings, click
If you’re shopping online, Dec.17 is still the magic date—it’s Free Shipping Day, the last day many online retailers will ship your stuff for guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. For a list of participating merchants (there are more than 1,000!), click here.
Happy shopping—and shipping!