When To Send Christmas Cards and Holiday Greetings

Last Updated: Oct 4, 2018

Nothing brings on more Holiday stress than trying to send out Christmas cards at the last minute. The holidays are meant to be fun and full of rest, with time spent with friends and family. Make this year stress free by planning when to create, label, and mail your Christmas cards ahead of time. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on when to send Christmas cards to make sure your planning goes as smoothly as possible.

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Close-up Of Person Hands Taking Christmas Letters View From Inside The Silver Mailbox

When To Send Out Christmas Cards

You should send out Christmas cards 2-3 weeks before Christmas day, as long as the cards are sent domestically. If you plan on sending out Christmas cards internationally, send them even earlier. This is especially important if you plan on sending stationed soldiers Christmas cards.

In general, aiming to send out cards in the first week of December remains a good time frame. Sending your Christmas cards out within plenty of time will ensure they arrive at your loved ones homes in time for the Holidays.

If you’re planning on sending out business holiday cards, you can mail them anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

When to Order Christmas Cards

Make sure to order your Christmas cards 1-3 weeks before Thanksgiving. This will help you avoid the Christmas card rush and get your greeting cards in time to sign, label, and mail them out. If you order the cards too late you may face additional charges, taxes, and delays with shipment.

Is Mail Delivered On Christmas Eve?

The USPS still delivers mail on Christmas Eve. However, it’s best to try not to depend on last minute deliveries for your Christmas cards to reach the recipients. Additionally, many people don’t check their mail on the holiday. However, last minute mailings can happen, especially if one gets accidentally returned due to an incorrect address.

If you’re worried that a Christmas Eve delivery may be too late, you can also opt for Express mail through the USPS. While it’s an additional charge, this mail gets delivered even on Christmas Day.

Family decorating the christmas tree

USPS Christmas Deadline and Other Services: Last Day For Mailing Christmas Cards

It’s important to know the final deadlines for when to send Christmas cards. Understanding these deadlines can help keep your holidays stress free, as you’ll have a clear idea of when they’ll arrive.

Christmas Mail Delivery Schedule

The deadlines for the USPS are:

  • Dec. 19 for First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 20 for Priority Mail
  • Dec. 22 for Priority Mail Express Service, which guarantees overnight delivery.

The deadlines for UPS are:

  • Dec. 20 for UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Dec. 21 for UPS 2nd Day Air (if Saturday delivery is available)
  • Dec. 22 for UPS Next Day Air (with Saturday delivery)
  • Dec. 24 for UPS Express Critical

The deadlines for FedEx are:

  • Dec. 19 for FedEx Express Saver
  • Dec. 20 for both FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
  • Dec. 21 for FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, and First Overnight.

The deadlines for Amazon are:

  • Dec. 22 for two-day shipping
  • Dec. 23 with one-day shipping
  • Dec. 24 with same-day delivery

Does Mail Come The Day After Christmas?

The Day after Christmas is not a postal holiday and mail will be delivered on that day. While Christmas day is technically a postal holiday, paying extra for special services can get your package delivered on that day. If you do not pay for an extra service, your late mail will be delivered after Christmas Day. If it’s important to you that your Christmas cards are delivered before the holiday, make sure to pay extra \attention to the deadlines.

Christmas Card Postage

Different services cost different amounts of postage, and there is often additional charges in the holidays. For an estimate of what your Christmas cards will cost to mail, see the information below:

hand opening Christmas Card Envelope with copy space isolated on white background

The costs for the USPS are:

  • First-Class Mail: Rates start at $0.47
  • Priority Mail: Rates start at $6.65
  • Priority Mail Express Service: Rates start at $23.75

The costs for UPS are:

  • Depends on package weight, along with delivery method.

The costs for FedEx are:

  • Depends on package weight, along with delivery method.

The costs for Amazon are:

  • Varies based on product, location, etc. Prime members are often free.

Additional Christmas Card Resources

If you’re still planning out your Christmas cards, check out our resource on what to write in a Christmas Card. Or, if you’re just looking for a few messages to include, you can read our piece on Christmas card messages and wishes. And if you’re ready to start ordering your cards, browse our design selection.

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