Here are the shipping deadlines to get your holiday gifts there on time

The same thing happens every year. Things get busy with work, school, and life in general until you’re suddenly up against the clock as you race your gifts to your local post office, FedEx store, or UPS store. We’ve all been there — and this year is looking the same for me, personally — but we want to offer a little bit of help, so you can plan around the upcoming shipping deadlines and avoid some holiday stress, if at all possible.

Below, we’ve rounded up the domestic shipping deadlines for various retailers and shipment carriers to ensure that your package arrives before Christmas or Kwanzaa.

You have until Thursday, December 23rd, to ship via Next Day Air and have your package arrive on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Wednesday, December 22nd, is the last day to ship via 2nd Day Air if you want your package to arrive on Christmas Eve.

FedEx’s Same Day shipping can get your package where it needs to on Christmas Eve, December 24th. If you ship it by Wednesday, December 22nd, you can opt for the 2Day shipping method. If you manage to get it to FedEx on December 21st, you can go the Express Saver route and (hopefully) pay a reasonable fee for shipping.

December 23rd is the final day to send packages (and have them arrive by Christmas Eve) through USPS via its Priority Mail Express service. The deadline for Priority Mail shipments is Saturday, December 18th, to arrive by Christmas Eve. First-Class Mail packages can be sent by December 17th, and finally, Retail Ground is around through December 15th.

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge


  • If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, have an order over $25, and live in an eligible ZIP code in the US, you can get Same-Day Delivery on certain items through December 24th.
  • Prime members can get One-Day Delivery for eligible products through December 23rd with no minimum purchase amount.
  • If you’re a Prime member in select US cities, you can take advantage of two-hour grocery delivery through December 24th.

Shipping times may vary depending on the product type, size, and whether it’s shipping directly from Amazon or a third-party seller. So, make sure to check the expected arrival date at the checkout, then choose accordingly.

Illustration by Kristen Radtke

Best Buy

  • If you’re a subscriber to Best Buy’s Totaltech program, you can get free same-day or two-day shipping (depending on your ZIP code).
  • December 21st is the cutoff date in most areas for home delivery of large items, but there are exceptions. The earliest delivery date available will be shown when you check out.
  • For select items, you can check out before Thursday night, December 23rd, to get your deliveries by December 24th.
  • In select areas, December 24th is the cutoff for same-day delivery.
  • Lastly, since Best Buy stores are closed on Christmas Day, December 24th is the cutoff date for in-store pickup.

Best Buy’s shipment arrival dates may vary depending on the kind of item that you’re getting. Major appliances also may take longer to be delivered at this point.

Illustration by Kristen Radtke


  • If you’re a Walmart Plus subscriber, you’ll be able to get free next-day or two-day shipping, with no order minimum.
  • Pickup time slots for local stores are available to book through December 24th, pending availability. You can view them in the Walmart app, or adjust your time slot at checkout. Walmart will reserve your order for four days.
  • Finally, if you want to pick up your order at a local store on December 24th, you should place said order by December 23rd.

Like Amazon, the arrival date of your package may vary depending on whether Walmart is shipping your item or a third-party seller is. If it’s the latter, it may ship more slowly.

Illustration by Kristen Radtke


  • Target RedCard members benefit from free two-day shipping on many items from the big red retailer’s site. Eligible orders should be placed by December 21st.
  • Most orders over $35 are eligible for free standard shipping, even without a RedCard, and estimated to take three to five business days. These should be placed by December 17th.
  • Target also offers same-day shipments from its retail stores with a service called Shipt. A subscription to Shipt includes unlimited deliveries on orders above $35 for $99 per year. Alternatively, you can pay for same-day shipping with Shipt on a per-order basis through Target’s site. Shipping fees may vary depending on your location and contents of the order.
  • In-stock items at your local Target can be ordered for pickup and ready in two hours. It helps to choose your desired location as “My store” in the top left of Target’s page, so each product listing automatically indicates if the item can be ready for pickup there.
  • Target stores will be open on Christmas Eve, though it’s best to get pickup orders and same-day shipping orders in by December 23rd to be on the safe side.

Similar to Walmart and Amazon, be aware if an item from Target’s site is shipped or sold by a third party, as that can have longer lead times. Product listings usually spell out your options for pickup, same-day delivery, and standard shipping — complete with estimated availability times — before you add to your cart.

Source: The Verge

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