Postal Service holiday shipping tips and deadlines for Christmas

Associated Press

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — Postal workers across Western New York are handling millions of cards and packages this holiday season. The week before Christmas is by far the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week of the year.

“The deadlines are happening fast. You’re running out of time, you got to get it in the mail. So earlier in the week is better,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman.

“I did a lot more online, mailed a lot more things than I normally do,” said Mary Tarzia of Lancaster.

If you’re still sending out Christmas cards, the recommended mail by date is this Tuesday, the 19th. The deadline for priority mail packages is the next day. If you wait any longer, expect a bigger hit to your wallet.

“We have priority mail express it’s our premium product, guaranteed overnight to most places. You have till Friday the 22nd but just be ready you’re going to pay a little more,” said Mazurkiewicz.

If you don’t want to wait in long lines you could use a self service kiosk. There is one in the post office on Grand Island, and 12 others at local post offices in Western New York. You can access the kiosk 24/7 and you can use it to buy stamps and mail packages.

“You use a debit or credit card but you can purchase postage you can also put your box on the scale and it will tell you what rates are available with the timelines for delivery and you can actually print the postage put it right on,” said Mazurkiewicz.

Postal carriers will be working around the clock during this busy holiday week. Don’t forget to leave your lights on and make sure dogs are restrained.

“If we get more snow please leave a clear path to the mailbox so the carriers can have a safe holiday as well,” said Mazurkiewicz.


Tuesday, Dec. 19: Ship First Class mail – including cards – via U.S. Postal Service to arrive before Christmas.

Wednesday, Dec. 20: Ship with U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail Service in time for Christmas. Send on this date via UPS 2nd Day Air to ensure delivery before Christmas Day with arrival Friday, Dec. 22.

Thursday, Dec. 21: Ship UPS Next Day Air by this date to ensure delivery before Christmas Day, with arrival Friday, Dec. 22.

Friday, Dec. 22: Ship with U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail Express Service for delivery by Christmas. It’s also the last regular delivery day before Christmas for UPS.

Sunday, Dec. 24: Christmas Eve. No U.S. Postal Service deliveries or blue-box pickup.

Monday, Dec. 25: Christmas Day. No U.S. Postal Service or UPS deliveries. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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