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Hurry! Christmas 2020 holiday shipping deadlines almost here

Every year around the holidays, there are shipping issues. The USPS gets so overwhelmed with the number of holiday cards and packages being sent it causes massive delays with deliveries. Meaning the last-minute gift you send will arrive even later.

This year is no exception. In fact, shipping issues are likely going to be worse than in years past since we’re all trying to keep our distance from others due to COVID. Add that to the fact that we’re all doing tons of online shopping and it’s a recipe for delivery disaster. Still looking for gifts? Try these 20 gifts around $25 for the person who has everything.

Major shipping delays have already begun. If you’re shipping packages to family or friends this holiday season or want to make sure your Christmas cards arrive on time, you need to know when the deadlines are.

Cutoff times for shipping this Christmas

The holiday season is going to be insane this year. We’re dealing with so many variables that we haven’t had in years past — and it’s going to cause some serious issues with shipping. If you’re trying to make sure that your gifts get to the kid who’s quarantined in another state or your elderly parents, who do not allow visitors right now, you need to time it right.

That can be difficult to estimate, considering there’s a huge influx of packages to be shipped in recent weeks. Luckily, the big shipping companies like UPS, USPS and FedEx have all made their cutoff dates clear. Let’s take a look at your final deadline for each.


If you’re trying to ship USPS retail ground service, we have bad news. You’ve already missed the deadline of Dec. 15. You can still get your package to its final destination on time, though, by opting for one of the following for delivery by Dec. 25:

  • First Class Mail Service — Cutoff of Dec. 18 (excluding Hawaii and Alaska)
  • Priority Mail Service — Cutoff of Dec. 19 (excluding Hawaii and Alaska)
  • Priority Mail Express Service — Cutoff of Dec. 23 (excluding Hawaii and Alaska)
  • If shipping to Alaska or Hawaii
    • First Class Mail Service — Cutoff of Dec. 18
    • Priority Mail Service — Cutoff of Dec. 19
    • Priority Mail Express Service — Cutoff of Dec. 21


If you’re shipping through UPS and want your packages to reach their destination by Dec. 25, the cutoff dates are as follows:

  • UPS 3 Day Select — Cutoff of Dec. 21
  • UPS 2nd Day Air — Cutoff of Dec. 22
  • UPS Next Day Air — Cutoff of Dec. 23

Related: Tap or click here for 15 great tech gifts for everyone on your list as a good starting point


If you miss shipping deadlines with other carriers, you have tons of last-minute options with FedEx. The cutoffs for delivery by Dec. 25 with FedEx are as follows:

  • FedEx Express Saver — Cutoff of Dec. 21
  • FedEx 3Day Freight — Cutoff of Dec. 21
  • FedEx 2Day — Cutoff of Dec. 22
  • FedEx 2Day A.M. — Cutoff of Dec. 22
  • FedEx 2Day Freight — Cutoff of Dec. 22
  • FedEx 1Day Freight — Cutoff of Dec. 23
  • FedEx Extra Hours — Cutoff of Dec. 23
  • FedEx Standard Overnight — Cutoff of Dec. 23
  • FedEx Priority Overnight — Cutoff of Dec. 23
  • FedEx First Overnight — Cutoff of Dec. 23
  • FedEx SameDay — Cutoff of Dec. 25
  • FedEx SameDay City Priority — Cutoff of Dec. 25
  • FedEx SameDay City Direct — Cutoff of Dec. 25

Last minute shopping options for delivery

If you’re not finished with your shopping and still need to ship your gifts, you have options to shop and ship with some online retailers, too. Two birds, one stone.


If you’re trying to buy and ship to someone from Amazon, there’s an easy way to identify what your options are. When you’re on the Amazon website, you can click the items you’re searching for. Once you do this, you should look for the “Arrives before Christmas” icon above the Add to Cart button. This will tell you that your gift will arrive on time.

You can also do a search for “last-minute gifts” in the search bar on This pulls up a list of gifts that can be delivered before Christmas, which you can cross-reference by the delivery date at the bottom of each listing — or the “Arrives before Christmas” icon above the Add to Cart button.


If you’re searching for last-minute gifts on, you can find suggestions that will arrive before Dec. 25 or are available for same-day pickup by searching for last-minute deals in the seasonal section of the website. This will pull up a list of options that will ship and arrive on time to the recipients.

Related: 15 great gifts under $15 that don’t feel like last-minute gifts


Target offers several shipping and pickup options that get your gift to where it needs to go on time. There isn’t a special last-minute gifts section on the site, but you can choose the option you need on the sidebar on the left of the screen. It offers options for shipping, in-store pickup and same-day delivery.

To find this sidebar, click on the shopping category you’re looking in. This should bring up the main page that has a list of gift options, and on the left-hand side of the screen you’ll see the menu titled, “Pickup, delivery & in stores.” Click the option or options you need and the items that are available will pop up.

Best Buy

Best Buy has some last-minute gift options that will ship on time to the person you’re gifting them to. To find these options, visit the Best Buy site and look for the Last Minute Gifts tab. You can search in these gifts by several different categories, and you’ll have options for same-day delivery, next day delivery and curbside pickup, too.

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