If want all of your holiday gifts to arrive by Hanukkah (starts on Dec. 24) or Christmas this year, you'd better finish your gift shopping soon. Check out the year-end gift-shipping deadline information below for FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service, as well as details on Free Shipping Day and more.

And be sure to follow our tips for safely shipping holiday gifts and find out whether expedited shipping is worth the splurge.

FedEx

For shipping within the U.S.:

  • Dec. 12: Last day to ship via FedEx SmartPost
  • Dec. 16: Last day to ship via FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 20: Last day to ship via FedEx Express Saver
  • Dec. 21: Last day to ship via FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
  • Dec. 22: Last day to ship via FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight
  • Dec. 23: Last day to ship via FedEx SameDay City (standard)
  • Dec. 25: Last day to ship via FedEx SameDay City (Priority) and FedEx SameDay

Shipping deadlines for packages headed to Puerto Rico and Canada, Mexico, and other international destinations vary. See FedEx's Holiday Shipping 2016 for more information.


Go to Consumer Reports' 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more. Be sure to check our Daily Gift Guide, and sign up to get an e-newsletter with top picks, trusted product reviews, and the latest news from Consumer Reports.
 



UPS

For shipping within the U.S.:

  • Dec. 19: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select (for delivery on Friday Dec. 23)
  • Dec. 21: Last day to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air (for delivery on Friday Dec. 23)
  • Dec. 22: Last day to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air (must use Saturday Delivery option for packages to be delivered before Christmas Day) and UPS Next Day Air (for delivery by Friday Dec. 23)
  • Dec. 23: Last day to ship via UPS Next Day Air (must use Saturday Delivery option for packages to be delivered before Christmas Day)

For international shipping deadlines and other holiday-related information, such as pick-up and delivery schedules, see the Holiday Shipping with UPS website.

U.S. Postal Service

For mail and package shipping within the U.S.:

  • Dec. 20: Last day to send packages via First Class Mail 
  • Dec. 21: Last day to send packages via Priority Mail 
  • Dec. 23: Last day to send packages via Priority Express Mail

The deadline for shipping packages internationally, including to overseas military bases, varies based on the destination. But in most cases, the deadlines are fast approaching—in some cases, as soon as Dec. 1. It may even already be too late to send parcels to certain locations overseas using less-expensive postal delivery options.

Visit the U.S. Postal Service holiday site for more information.

Amazon.com and Other Online Retailers

Online retailers and shopping websites are experiencing record volumes this holiday season, so it's important to check their specific ordering deadlines if you wish for your gifts to arrive by Christmas day—a Sunday this year.

The cut-off date for ordering items on Amazon.com with free shipping within the contiguous 48 states of the U.S. is Dec. 16. Orders for gifts to be shipped with standard shipping must be completed online by Dec. 19.

The cut-off dates for ordering items to be shipped with two-day shipping is Dec. 22. In select cities, Amazon offers one-day shipping, but online orders must be completed by Dec. 23.

Also in select cities, Amazon offers same-day or even 2-hour delivery (via Prime Now). But procrastinators must complete their orders by Dec. 24 at 9:30 a.m. and 9.45 p.m., respectively.

All expedited shipping methods are free with Amazon Prime memberships.

Ordering and shipping deadlines are obviously a few days earlier for Amazon customers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and international locations.

For more information, see Amazon's Holiday Ordering and Return Deadlines for the U.S. as well as the general Shipping Rates & Times section of Amazon's customer help and support site.

You'll find similar online ordering and holiday gift-shipping deadline information for these online retail sites:

Free Shipping Day

More than 600 online merchants will be participating in Free Shipping Day on Dec. 16, offering hundreds of items that will purportedly arrive by Christmas Eve.

For other holiday shopping tips, visit Consumer Reports' Holiday Gift Guide.