All you need to know

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Finding the perfect gift for everyone in your life is rarely an easy process (luckily we have tons of gift guides to help you out).

But the search is not over once you finally choose something. You need to make sure it actually arrives on time, which will be especially difficult this year, as “out of stock” warnings have tripled since January 2020. A global supply chain crisis has affected everything, sweaters ugly Christmas cards in the box, without any guarantee. to improve even as new facilities are added.

So while Black Friday is traditionally the start of Christmas gift shopping, it is advisable to start even earlier this year if you want your gifts to arrive on time. Additionally, it would be a good idea to check the 2021 shipping times published by FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service to ensure you have enough time to ship your gift.

If you’re running out of time, many major retailers offer in-store pickup options, which allow you to bypass holiday shipping delays and pick up your gifts the same day you order them. You just need to make sure to ship your gifts within the shipping times below.

The other option is to consider e-giveaways, such as gift cards that your recipients can cash out at a later date, or virtual lessons, e-books, and audiobook subscriptions that they can use immediately.

If you want to receive your gifts by Christmas, here are the dates, times and shipping options you need to know:

Carrier shipping times 2021


Among shipping services, FedEx offers the most options for you to have your package delivered, with options even available on Christmas Eve. Note: The times listed below are exclusive to the United States.

  • FedEx Ground and home delivery: December 15
  • FedEx Express Offer: December 21
  • FedEx 2Day and 2DayAM: December 22
  • FedEx 1 Freight Day: December 23
  • FedEx the same day: December 24


With the options listed below, you can ship through December 23 using UPS. UPS stores are closed on Christmas Day, but you can still check out UPS Express Service Critical if you are in need.

  • UPS Ground: Calculate on the UPS website
  • UPS 3 days Select: December 21
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: December 22
  • UPS Next Day Air: December 23

US Postal Service:

With USPS, it’s as easy as getting shipping supplies online or from your local post office, printing shipping labels, and dropping off your package (or scheduling a pickup).

Post offices can have variable hours as we get closer to the holidays, so avoid the hassle and check if your location is open here.

  • USPS Retail Ground: December 15
  • USPS First Class Mail: December 17
  • USPS Priority Mail: December 18
  • USPS Priority Mail Express: December 23

For times for Alaska, Hawaii and international shipping, find out more here.


DHL has yet to release an official shipping time schedule for 2021, but it’s probably safe to assume a December 15 deadline for all of its domestic shipping services. International shipping is trickier, but you can get a quote and quote for your specific shipment here.

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