Americans send more mail around the holidays than at any other time of the year. Whether you’re sending a Christmas card, mailing a holiday gift, or shipping a care package to a loved one serving in the military, it’s important that your package arrives on time. That’s why the U.S. Postal Service works extra hard to ensure timely delivery of your holiday mail. To help you avoid delays during this very special and busy time, here are USPS’s recommended shipping deadlines for the 2015 holiday season:
Domestic Mail Deadlines – December 2015
If you’re sending holiday mail within the United States or to U.S. territories, aim to ship your packages by the dates below.
Get additional details on the U.S. Postal Service’s mailing and shipping services.
International Mail Deadlines – December 2015
Consult the chart below to find recommended mail-by dates for international regions. Remember, when mailing and shipping to international addresses, you must also follow necessary customs guidelines.
Military Mail Deadlines – December 2015
Follow the guidelines below to know when to mail Christmas packages to loved ones serving in the armed services.
How to Get USPS Discounts on Military Mail
To support our men and women in the armed services, USPS offers a $2 per box postage discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box at $15.90 for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO addresses around the globe.
How to Use Military Care Kits to Send Gifts Overseas
The Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains:
■Two Priority Mail APO/FPO/DPO flat rate boxes
■Two Priority Mail Medium flat rate boxes
■Priority Mail tape
■Priority Mail address labels
■Appropriate customs forms
To order the kit, call 800-610-8734. You can also order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo at the USPS online store.
How to Address Military Mail and Packages
Wondering how to address military mail to your friend or loved one serving in the armed forces? Follow these steps for addressing military mail to make sure your parcel arrives on time.
1. Print the service member’s full name in the address field.
2. Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP code (if one is assigned). For example:
Army/Air Post Office (APO)
PFC JOHN DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021
Fleet Post Office (FPO)
SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
UNIT 100100 BOX 4120
FPO AP 96691
Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)
UNIT 8400 BOX 0000
DPO AE 09498-0048
3. Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address field
4. Remember to write a return address in appropriate field.
5. Include the service member’s name and address and the sender’s name and address on an index card inside the package, in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit.
These Christmas shipping deadlines and tips can help de-stress your holiday gift giving – so you can concentrate on what’s truly important. Happy Holidays from the U.S. Postal Service!