Christmas shipments: Here are the deadlines you shouldn’t miss

Holiday shipment deadlines recommended by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx are fast approaching.

Every year the advice on sending cards and packages at Christmas is about the same.

Don’t delay. Send them early. 

But that advice is especially true this year with uncertainty over supply chain issues and worker shortages. 

So here’s what you need to know to make sure your Christmas cards and packages arrive on time. 

USPS shipping deadlines

If you’re sending a package domestically, they should be shipped by the following dates, outlined in the USPS’ 2021 holiday schedule.

Domestic service(s)Shipping deadline
Retail GroundDec. 15
First Class Mail (for cards and small parcels)Dec. 17
Priority MailDec. 18
Priority Mail ExpressDec. 23

The Postal Service’s flat-rate boxes are some of the most economical ways to ship. The prices are: $9.20, small; $16.25, medium; and $22.65, large. As examples, a small box would hold wool mittens, a medium box would hold a pair of shoes and a large would handle a laptop computer.

And the boxes are free. You can pick them up at a post office or order them online

This is a complete list of the dimensions and shipping rates for all of the postal service’s flat-rate boxes. 

You can also order holiday stamps online.

Local residents know that there is often a long line of customers at the Hopkinsville Post Office’s retail counter — even when there isn’t a holiday rush on. So don’t expect to run in with holiday packages and be finished in a matter of minutes.

Another option is using one of the county’s rural post offices if that’s more convenient based on where you live or work. They generally do not have long waits for customers. 

Here are the hours for four post offices in the county:

  • Pembroke – 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
  • Herndon – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
  • Crofton – 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
  • Gracey – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

UPS shipping deadlines

To get packages delivered by Christmas, UPS recommends shipping items by the dates outlined below.

For regular Ground service, UPS recommends you use its shipping calculator to determine time and cost.

Domestic service(s)Shipping deadline
3-Day SelectDec. 21
2nd Day AirDec. 22
Next Day AirDec. 23

Of course, the closer to the holiday that you ship, the more it will cost. Here’s an online UPS calculator

The Hopkinsville UPS Store, 4044 Fort Campbell Blvd., offers packaging services and supplies. 

FedEx shipping deadlines

In Hopkinsville, there is a full-service FedEx shipping center located inside OfficeMax, 190 Clinic Drive. The service’s holiday shipping deadlines are as follows.

Domestic service(s)Shipping deadline
Ground EconomyDec. 9
FedEx GroundDec. 15
FedEx (3-Day) Express SaverDec. 21
FedEx 2-Day & 2-Day A.M.Dec. 22
First Overnight, Priority Overnight & Standard OvernightDec. 23

You can find all of the FedEx deadlines here. And you can use this online tool to calculate the cost of shipments. 

Christmas shipments: Here are the deadlines you shouldn’t miss

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.