The United States Postal Service recently announced the mailing deadlines for the expected delivery of cards and gifts for this holiday season.

The postal service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25:

• Dec. 20 – first-class mail (including greeting cards)

• Dec. 20 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25.

The actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, post office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply.

Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the postal service’s “busiest day” notion is now a thing of the past.

Instead, the postal service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas.

Beginning the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase, and the postal service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.

The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. During this week alone, the postal service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of first-class mail, including greeting cards.

The postal service anticipates Dec. 17 will be the postal service’s busiest day online with more than 8 million consumers predicted to visit for help. 

Find more holiday deadlines and shipping information on the USPS Web site.

Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain