The holiday season is fast approaching (isn't it always?) and the holiday schedules for delivery have been put out by the big three: USPS, FedEx, and UPS. When you should send your packages so you don't have to pay an arm and a leg is always on the forefront of the Mainer's mind when we need to ship packages across the country or across the pond.

Here's what this year's schedule looks like for holiday delivery through the nation's biggest delivery companies so you don't have to pay more for delivery than the things that are actually being delivered.

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USPS (Plan for December 15th - 18th)

Here's a rundown from USPS for their 2021 Holiday Season anticipated mail dates.

Here's when you should ship your items to another contiguous state in the United States in order to get packages before December 25th.

  • USPS Retail Ground Service: December 15th
  • First-Class Mail Service: December 17th
  • Priority Mail Service: December 18th
  • Priority Mail Express Service: December 23rd

Sending to an American state or territory outside of the contiguous states or sending packages/mail internationally could mean earlier dates for you to send your gifts for the holidays. Check out the 2021 Holiday Shipping Dates on USPS.com.

FedEx (Plan for December 15th)

FedEx has quite a few choices for you to ship things within the United States and internationally. Generally, the earliest date to be safe is December 9th if you are looking to do FedEx Ground Economy. If you need another week, FedEx has lots of options to send your packages or mail by December 15th, including FedEx Ground Contiguous US,  FedEx Ground Alaska and Hawaii,  FedEx Home Delivery Contiguous US, FedEx Home Delivery Alaska and Hawaii, and FedEx Canada Domestic.

Of course, you could wait last minute and do FedEx Same Day Delivery on 12/24. Good luck to you with that one. See FedEx's full 2021 shipping deadlines for holiday packages on a handy dandy PDF from fedex.com.

UPS (Plan for December 20th)

If you plan on sending packages domestically here in the United States, you can plan on paying a lower amount for shipping by December 20th. After that, December 21st will be the last day to ship using UPS 3 Day Select for delivery on Christmas Eve. December 22nd is the last day to ship UPS 2nd Day Air for December 24th arrival. And, for Christmas Day, there is no UPS pickup or delivery, so, don't wait the day of to send those packages. See more details from UPS at UPS.com.

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