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2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines to Ensure Your Christmas Gifts Arrive on Time

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christmas holiday shipping deadlines 2018 – Santa getting a package from UPS

With just a few weeks until Christmas, you may be wondering when you need to to get all of your shopping done in order to guarantee Christmas delivery?! We’ve got ya covered! 🙌🏻 In order to ensure that your gifts arrive on time, check out the following 2018 shipping deadlines for Amazon, FedEx, USPS, and UPS – details below.

AND, if you want to show your appreciation to your delivery person, be sure to check out the gift-receiving policies for each carrier below. 🎁 In addition, don’t miss this post on a thoughtful way to thank delivery drivers (we even include a free printable sign!).


Amazon Shipping Deadlines

Amazon Shipping Deadlines

NOTE: Amazon has not released their 2018 holiday ordering deadlines yet, but here are our predictions based on last year’s dates. We will update this information once we know more.

  • December 14th – free shipping
  • December 17th – standard shipping (free for Prime members)
  • December 21st – for two-day shipping (free for Prime members)
  • December 22nd – one-day shipping (select cities but is free for Prime members)
  • December 24th – same-day delivery before 9:30AM local time (select cities but free for Prime members)
  • December 24th – two-hour delivery before 9:45PM local time (select cities; free and exclusive for Prime members via Prime Now)

Go HERE for more details about Amazon’s holiday ordering deadlines (not updated yet).


🎁 Gift Receiving Policy: Note that government regulations do not allow delivery workers to receive cash or cash equivalent gifts, so a non-monetary gift under $20 is appropriate and appreciated.


FedEx Shipping Deadlines

FedEx holiday delivery

  • December 10th – FedEx SmartPost
  • December 17th – FedEx Ground
  • December 17th – FedEx Home Delivery
  • December 19th – FedEx Express Saver
  • December 20th – both FedEx 2Day and 2Day A.M.
  • December 21st – FedEx First Overnight, Priority Overnight and Standard Overnight
  • December 25th – FedEx SameDay City Direct, SameDay City Priority, or SameDay

Go HERE for more details about FedEx’s 2018 holiday ordering deadlines (printable version)


🎁 Gift-Receiving Policy: Gifts of cash or cash equivalents (such as gift cards and gift certificates) must never be accepted. Employees may accept nominal gifts with a combined market value of $75 or less from the same third party per year. Gifts include (but not limited to): event tickets, merchandise (gift baskets, etc), travel or lodging, or discounts on a product or service.


USPS Shipping Deadlines

USPS holiday shipping guidelines

Go HERE for more details about USPS’s 2018 holiday ordering deadlines.


🎁 Gift Receiving Policy: Carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.


UPS Shipping Deadlines

UPS holiday shipping

  • December 18th – UPS 3-Day Select (will be delivered Monday, 12/24)
  • December 19th – UPS 2nd Day Air (will be delivered Monday, 12/24)
  • December 20th – UPS 2nd Day Air (will be delivered Saturday, 12/22) – select zip codes
  • December 20th – UPS 2nd Day Air (will be delivered Monday, 12/24)
  • December 21st – UPS Next Day Air (will be delivered Monday, 12/24)
  • December 22nd – UPS Worldwide Express, Next Day Air, or Second Day Air processed and labeled for Saturday Delivery
  • December 23rd – UPS Express Critical
  • December 24th – UPS Express Critical
  • December 25th – UPS Express Critical

Go HERE for more details about UPS’s 2018 holiday ordering deadlines (printable version).


🎁 Gift-Receiving Policy: Rumor has it that UPS prefers its drivers to receive gifts, rather than cash, but leaves it to the customer’s discretion.


Thank Delivery Drivers with this idea

If you’re looking for a simple gift idea for your delivery driver, consider setting out a basket with bottled water and packaged snacks that your delivery drivers can grab on the go. (Like the sign above? Print one here!) Many drivers are on a time crunch to deliver packages quickly, so something that’s already set out for them will be appreciated!

Note that government regulations do not allow U.S. Postal Service workers to receive cash gifts, so a non-monetary gift under $20 is appropriate and appreciated. FedEx drivers can receive tips and gifts, but they should not exceed $75.


Please Hide Packages from Husband

And a HUGE thanks to the men and women who deliver ALL of my packages in the cold, rain, heat, wind and even on holidays (and manage to hide them from my husband! 😉). We appreciate YOU!

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