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2020 Christmas Shipping Deadlines – USPS, Amazon, FedEx, & UPS

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boxing up gifts in a USPS shipping box

Make sure your Christmas deliveries arrive on time!

With the Christmas shopping season ramping up early this year, shipping carriers are forecasting record demand for home delivery services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More people than ever are expected to do their shopping online, and many people who would normally deliver their gifts in person will be shipping them instead.

These changes in our shopping and gifting behaviors could potentially lead to significant shipping delays, especially as we get closer to Christmas and the demand for home delivery surges even more.

Christmas holiday shipping deadlines – Santa getting a package from UPS

To help you prepare for the holiday shipping rush, we’ve put together this helpful guide with all of the 2020 shipping deadlines for Amazon, FedEx, USPS, and UPS! If you’re also looking for ways to thank your delivery person this holiday season, we’ve included the gift-acceptance policies for each carrier too.


woman with Amazon boxes on porch

Amazon’s Christmas Shipping Deadlines

Amazon hasn’t published its Holiday Delivery Calendar for 2020 yet, but we’ve listed last year’s shipping deadlines as a reference point for your convenience. We definitely recommend finalizing your Amazon purchases a little earlier than usual this year, just to be on the safe side. So try to beat last year’s deadlines, if you can!

  • December 14 – free shipping on $25 orders
  • December 18 – free standard shipping within 3-5 days (free for Prime members)
  • December 22 – free two-day shipping for Prime members
  • December 23 – free one-day delivery for Prime members
  • December 24 – free same-day delivery in select cities for Prime members on $35 orders

🎁 Gift 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 holiday delivery

FedEx Christmas Shipping Deadlines

  • December 9 – FedEx SmartPost
  • December 15 – FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
  • December 21 – FedEx Express Saver
  • December 22 – both FedEx 2Day and 2Day A.M.
  • December 23 – FedEx First Overnight, Priority Overnight, and Standard Overnight
  • December 25 – FedEx SameDay, SameDay City Priority, or SameDay City Direct,

🎁 Gift Policy: Gifts of cash or cash equivalents (such as gift cards and gift certificates) must never be accepted. Employees may accept “moderate” gifts like merchandise, food, entertainment tickets, etc.


USPS holiday shipping guidelines

USPS Christmas Shipping Deadlines

🎁 Gift 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 holiday shipping

UPS Christmas Shipping Deadlines

  • December 15 – UPS Ground
  • December 21 – UPS 3-Day Select
  • December 22 – UPS 2nd Day Air
  • December 23 – UPS Next Day Air

🎁 Gift 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

Like the sign shown above? Print one for FREE right here!

And a HUGE thank you to the men and women who deliver ALL of our packages in the cold, rain, heat, snow, wind, pandemic, and even on holidays. We appreciate YOU! ❤️


Keep your packages safe from porch pirates with these helpful tips!

Join The Discussion

Comments 1

  1. lindak

    Gift ideas? Didn’t know about the gift card policy. Last year I put one in a card for the mailman. My husband ran out and gave it to him and by the time I looked I realized that was not our regular mailman!

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