Because of this ongoing pandemic, we're doing a lot of things differently this year than we normally do. One of those things is holiday shopping. More people started earlier, and more are shopping online.

Starting earlier and shopping online should give all of us a slight advantage in getting the stuff we're sending to others ready to go, but it never hurts to have a reminder of the deadlines for shipping. I'm a firm believer in "better late than never" when it comes to sending gifts to loved ones, but it's a lot less stressful when you know that what you sent will be there when it's time to tear into the wrapping paper.

As you might imagine, the U.S. Postal Service and major package delivery companies have set shipping deadlines, but as holiday buying kicks into full swing, they advise building in some cushions to ensure delivery by Christmas Day.

And with the pandemic restrictions that we're all dealing with, more people shopping online could affect the availability of some in-demand products. So, if you're sending presents from the Rockford area to points around the country (or the world, if you're the family member of someone serving in our armed forces) here are the recommended deadlines for getting your stuff from here to there:

U.S. Postal Service:

  • USPS Retail Ground: Tuesday, Dec. 15
  • First-Class Mail: Friday, Dec. 18
  • Priority Mail: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • USPS Priority Mail Express: Wednesday, Dec. 23
  • If you're shipping abroad or to a member of the U.S. military, special deadlines apply


  • UPS Ground Shipping: Wednesday, Dec. 16
  • UPS Next Day Air: Friday, Dec. 18
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Friday, Dec. 18
  • UPS 3 Day Select: Saturday, Dec. 19


  • FedEx Ground/Home Delivery: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • FedEx Express Saver: Monday, Dec. 21
  • FedEx 2Day: Tuesday, Dec. 22
  • FedEx Overnight: Wednesday, Dec. 23


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