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Holiday shipping deadlines are tighter than ever! Here's what you need to know to get gifts on time

red truck hauling a gift
The clock is ticking on holiday deliveries — don't miss the window! (Photo: Getty)

If you’re determined to do all your holiday shopping online this year, you’d better hustle! Shoppers have gotten their earliest start ever in 2022 — and if there’s anything the supply chain crisis of 2021 taught us, it’s that time is of the essence.

Shipping your own gifts? Delivery services like FedEx, UPS and even USPS are doing the most to meet the needs of a record-breaking year.

"We’re all in for the holidays,” said Brie Carere, chief customer officer, FedEx Corporation. “We’ve been working with our customers throughout the year to plan for this peak, and we’ve set our bar even higher with an unmatched network and committed team ready to deliver an outstanding experience.”

UPS is rising to the challenge with an increase in holiday hires. "We are well on our way to hiring the 100,000+ seasonal employees we announced in September, and UPS Brown Friday is a three-day sprint that helps us achieve that goal,” said Nando Cesarone, UPS Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Operations.

Here are the official shipping deadline schedules of FedEx, UPS and USPS:

FedEx holiday shipping deadlines

  • December 8: FedEx Ground Economy and Freight Economy

  • December 14: FedEx Ground and Freight Priority

  • December 20: FedEx Express Saver and 3-Day Freight

  • December 21: FedEx 2-Day, 2-Day a.m., 2-Day Freight,

  • December 22: FedEx 1-Day Freight, FedEx Extra Hours

  • December 23: FedEx Same-Day

UPS holiday shipping deadlines

  • December 20: Normal pickup and delivery service; Ground shipping, check ups.com/ctc for details

  • December 20: Three-Day Select

  • December 21: Second-Day Air

  • December 22: Next-Day Air

USPS holiday shipping deadlines (continental U.S.)

  • December 17: USPS retail ground service

  • December 17: First-class mail service

  • December 19: Priority mail service

  • December 23: Priority Mail Express service

Many (not all) of your favorite retailers have also released their holiday cut-off dates, and they promise to do their best to deliver. Use the shipping deadlines below as a rule of thumb for getting your stuff by Christmas Eve, and add a day or two of padding so you don’t have to pray for a Christmas (delivery) miracle.

Amazon

Amazon has gift guides to help you find the best presents for everyone on your list. (Photo: Amazon)
Amazon has gift guides to help you find the best presents for everyone on your list. (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon has not released an official shipping cut-off schedule yet, but here are our best estimates for getting your gifts by Christmas Eve based on their everyday delivery options:

December 24: Same-Day Delivery

December 23: Prime 1-Day Delivery

December 22: Prime 2-Day Delivery

Not yet an Amazon Prime member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here.

You can find all the ins and outs Amazon holiday shipping, delivery, pickups, and returns by clicking here.

Here are some of the holiday-season promises Amazon has made so far:

  • They're hiring 150,000 more seasonal employees.

  • They're utilizing more than 110 aircraft and more than 50,000 trailers globally plus more than 275,000 drivers.

  • More than over 20 million items will be eligible for free One-Day Delivery with no minimum purchase.

  • Hundreds of thousands of items will available for free Same-Day Delivery in more than 90 metro areas.

  • Amazon Day Delivery will allow Prime members to select a designated day for a weekly delivery of their packages for free.

  • They will have thousands of convenient and secure Amazon package pickup locations.

Shop Amazon's curated Holiday Gift Guides here — they're packed with deals!

Walmart

For holiday shopping, it’s best to sign up for a Walmart+ membership and enjoy free next-day and two-day shipping on Walmart orders with no purchase minimum. Walmart offers free two-day delivery on millions of items with a minimum purchase of $35.

  • December 22: Members should use this deadline to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve with free next-day. or two-day shipping.

  • December 20: If you order at least five business days in advance, non-members can adhere to this deadline and take a gamble on standard shipping. Walmart also offers a next-day option for select zip codes.

Otherwise, many products are available for free in-store or curbside pickup (some are marked "same-day pick-up"), or delivery from your local store. This year, Walmart will be open until 6:00pm on Christmas Eve. As always, you can pay $7.95 - $9.95 for a one-time delivery and an additional $10 fee to get your order in two hours or less with Express delivery.

Shop Walmart's holiday gift finder and holiday specials here.

Target

  • December 22: Place your an order of at least $35 — or use your Target RedCard for no purchase minimum — to get free two-day shipping on eligible items in time for Christmas Eve. Or...

  • December 20: If you want to be careful, push that back by two days. Last year, Target warned that most packages would deliver within 1 to 2 days of the estimated delivery date because of a surge in holiday orders.

You can also order gifts and pick them up the same day at your local Target, or enjoy free same-day delivery of your Target order via Shipt. First-time customers get their first delivery free.

Shop Target's Black Friday deals here.

QVC

QVC's holiday picks range from cozy apparel to special self-care treats to home accessories and more. (Photo: QVC)
QVC's holiday picks range from cozy apparel to special self-care treats to home accessories and more. (Photo: QVC)

December 14 at 11:59pm EST: For standard delivery on all products, order by For express 2-day delivery, order by December 22 before noon. For Premium 1-day delivery, order by December 23 at noon. Pad those deadlines by five days for perishable items.

Physical gift cards take up to seven business days to arrive, so order by Dec. 12 at 11:59pm EST.

E-gift cards are available until Dec. 24 at 11:59 pm EST, a.k.a. the moment before Christmas, for all you last-minute shoppers.

QVC is also offering Easy Pay installments on almost everything.

Shop QVC's holiday gift guides here.

HSN

HSN has released its holiday shopping deadlines for 2022. They are:

  • December 16: For thousands of gifts with guaranteed (standard) delivery at no extra charge.

  • December 20: To upgrade to express shipping (for an additional fee) for guaranteed delivery in three business days. Express deliveries arrive via UPS.

  • December 21: To upgrade to super express shipping (for an additional fee) for guaranteed delivery within two business days from your order date. Super express deliveries arrive via UPS.

HSN warns that orders made after December 21 might not arrive by Christmas.

HSN is offering its Flex Pay installment program on just about anything.

Shop HSN's Black Friday deals here.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom's beauty picks are holiday gold. (Photo: Nordstrom)
Nordstrom's beauty picks are holiday gold. (Photo: Nordstrom)

As a general guideline, Nordstrom offers free shipping on all standard shipping orders — they take three to eight business days for delivery. You can also opt for expedited shipping options: two business days (for a $21 fee) or next business day (for $20 fee). Here's how that breaks down:

  • December 13: Standard shipping

  • December 21: Two business days

  • December 22: Next business day

Nordstrom also provides free curbside deliver and store pickup for online orders.

Shop Nordstrom's holiday deals here.

Uncommon Goods

This quirky company offers four shipping options. Here's how the shipping deadlines break down for each:

  • December 12: Economy (7 to 9 business days)

  • December 14: Standard (3 to 7 business days)

  • December 20: Expedited (2 to 3 business days)

  • December 21: Express (1 to 2 business days)

For last-minute shoppers and anyone wary of shipping problems, Uncommon Goods launched Uncommon Experiences last year. “Uncommon Experiences go beyond physical gifting by offering fun and unique classes that are taught virtually in real-time by passionate experts...Ranging from crafting and cooking to mixology and astrology, there’s an Experience for every recipient,” said a rep. The newly added gifting option allows shoppers to download and print the Experience confirmation.

Shop Uncommon Goods' gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Kohl’s

Last year, if you placed your order according to Kohl’s shipping deadline schedule, the store promised to ensure that your gifts will arrive by Christmas Eve. Their 2022 holiday shipping schedule hasn't been released yet, but here are the estimated dates for Kohl’s shipping options based on last year's:

  • December 19 at 1pm CST: Two-day

  • December 20 at 1pm CST: One-day

You can also get instant delivery of a Kohl’s e-gift card if you order by 10pm CST on Christmas Day.

Kohl’s also offers store pickup and curbside pickup in about 100 stores nationwide. Orders placed with Store Pickup or Curbside Pickup are ready within an hour.

And this one's for all you super-last-minute shoppers:

  • Order online by 4pm local time and select “Fast Store Pickup” for your order to be ready by 6pm, when stores close.

Shop Kohl's early Black Friday deals here.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Shop the coziest gifts (Ugg blanket, anyone?) at Bed Bath & Beyond. (Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond)
Shop the coziest gifts (Ugg blanket, anyone?) at Bed Bath & Beyond. (Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond)

Bed Bath & Beyond has not released holiday cut-off dates, but here are their regular delivery rules:

  • December 16: Get free Standard Shipping within three to six business days on any online purchase of $39 or more, excluding gift cards and store pick up items (or pay $6.99 for orders below $39)

  • December 20: For Expedited Delivery, it's two to three business days for an added fee.

  • December 21: For Express delivery, it's one to two business days for an added fee.

For some orders, Bed Bath & Beyond offers Same-Day delivery for a $10 fee.You can also choose the brand’s contactless curbside pickup option.

Shop Bed Bath & Beyond's Black Friday sale here.

Old Navy and Gap

To get your online order from Old Navy or Gap delivered by Christmas Eve, you have three options:

  • December 15: For standard shipping (a $6 fee)

  • December 21 at 1pm EST: For express shipping (a $17 fee)

  • December 23: For next-day shipping (a $22 fee), place your order no later than 1pm EST Dec. 21.

Old Navy and Gap offer in-store pickup and contactless curbside pickup, too, all the way up to Dec. 24. Order by 2 pm EST and pick up your stuff in two hours or less.

Shop Old Navy's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals here.

Shop Gap's Black Friday deals here.

Macy’s

Shop fabulous finds for foodies, audiophiles and more, with Macy's gift guide. (Photo: Macy's)
Shop fabulous finds for foodies, audiophiles and more, with Macy's gift guide. (Photo: Macy's)

Macy’s holiday shipping estimates based on last year's schedule are:

  • December 21: Standard Shipping — free on qualifying merchandise — when you place your order by 5pm EST.

  • December 22: Express shipping when you place your order by noon EST.

  • December 24: Priority shipping when you place your order by 10am EST.

You can also take advantage of curbside and in-store pickup when you order by Christmas Eve, December 24, at 2pm local time.

Physical gift cards arrive by standard shipping, so that's E-gift cards are delivered in 24 hours.

Get free shipping — no minimum — when you shop at Macy's with your Macy's credit card.

Shop Macy's Black Friday deals here.

Lululemon

Here are our estimates based on Lululemon's shipping options:

  • December 15: Free standard shipping (2 to 6 business days)

  • December 19: Express shipping (2 to 4 business days)

  • December 20: Priority shipping (2 to 3 business days)

The company offers free shipping (and returns), as well as contactless, same-day pickup curbside or at the door of your nearest store.

Shop Lululemon's early Black Friday deals here.

Best Buy

Best Buy offers free standard shipping and next-day shipping on orders of at least $35. Some items are even eligible for same-day delivery.

December 20: Free standard shipping

December 22: Free next-day delivery

You can also pick up your order in-store within two hours of placing it.

Shop Best Buy's gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Bloomingdale’s

Get luxe gifts for less at Bloomingdales. (Photo: Bloomingdales)
Get luxe gifts for less at Bloomingdales. (Photo: Bloomingdales)

Bloomingdale’s has not announced its official holiday cutoff dates, but according to their regular shipping policy, here's how you should order to (hopefully) get your stuff by Christmas Eve:

December 16: Your order will ship Standard in up to five business days.

December 20 before 5pm EST: For Premium Delivery, which costs an additional $12.

December 21 before 5pm EST: For Express Delivery at an additional $20.

Shop Bloomingdale's gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Here are Dick's holiday shipping estimates:

  • December 16: Standard shipping, 2-5 business days

  • December 21: Expedited shipping, 2 business days

  • December 22: Express shipping, 1 business day

Most Dick’s locations offer same-day store pickup, including contactless curbside pickup. They also offer same-day delivery through Instacart.

Shop Dick's Black Friday Deals here.

Cabela’s

For most Cabela items:

  • December 14: Standard shipping. Most packages will ship FedEx Home, FedEx Ground, or USPS Priority Mail (it’s free for orders of $50 or more), but make sure to look at your estimated delivery date before checking out.

  • December 21: Express (two-day) shipping, which is also free for $50 orders

  • December 22: One-Day Delivery, which is an extra $25.

Last year, Cabela’s noted that high volumes of orders may delay its regular shipping times, so they can’t make any guarantees.

Shop Cabela's Christmas Gift Guide here.

Apple

Apple Watches and iPhones are just the tip of the iceberg. (Photo: Apple)
Apple lists specific delivery deadlines for each of its products, from watches to phones and beyond. (Photo: Apple)

If you want to gift a MacBook or iPhone this season, get cracking! Actually, Apple’s holiday shipping deadlines vary by product, and the deadlines are all over the map. Thankfully, Apple has the cutoffs neatly listed by product here. And they’ve listed everything: iPhones, Apple Watches, AirPods, MacBook Airs and more.

December 21: This is the most popular deadline on the list, mainly for iPhones and Apple Watches.

With Apple, you get free delivery or you can choose two-hour courier delivery for a $5 fee. You can also do same-day in-store pickup as late as December 24.

Shop Apple's gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Home Depot

To ensure delivery by Christmas Eve, follow the store's regular shipping rules:

December 16: Standard shipping (three to five days), and it's free on orders of $45 or more.

December 21: Two-day delivery on thousands of items — free when your order is $45 or more. Always check the delivery time for the individual item, as this date is subject to change depending on demand and delivery location.

Note that Home Depot offers free curbside and free in-store pickup in as quick as a few hours.

Shop The Home Depot's Black Friday here.

L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's holiday schedule is here! General orders, holiday wreaths and centerpieces will arrive in time for Christmas Eve if you order by:

  • December 18 at midnight, and you'll get free shipping on orders of $50 or above

  • December 18 at midnight for express shipping (L.L. Bean lists the same cutoff for both)

If you want monogramming or engraving, bump up that deadline to November 30.

Shop L.L. Bean's holiday specials here.

Harry & David

Gifts are good enough to eat at Harry & David. (Photo: Harry & David)
Send a delicious gift to their door. (Photo: Harry & David)

For your gifts to arrive by Christmas, order by:

  • December 18 for Standard shipping (four to seven business days)

  • December 20 for 3-day Express shipping

  • December 21 for 2-day Express shipping

  • December 22 for Overnight Express shipping

  • December 23 for Overnight Saturday arrival

Fees apply, of course — from about $6 to $25. See the breakdown here.

Shop Harry & David's gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Everlane

These are Everlane's recommended cut-off dates, based on their regular shipping schedule, which includes one to three business days for processing:

  • December 8; No Rush (six to 11 business days)

  • December 13: Standard (four to eight business days)

  • December 19: Express (two to four business days)

Shop Everlane's gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Ulta

The online shopping cutoff at Ulta is December 13 at 11:59pm CT if you want standard shipping — which is free on orders over $35 — in time for Christmas.

Shop by December 19 at noon CST for Expedited shipping (A $10 fee)

Shop by December 20 at noon CST Premium shipping (a $17 fee)

Shop Ulta's holiday deals here.

Sephora

Hey, gorgeous! Score a holiday deal. (Photo: Sephora)
Hey, gorgeous! Score a holiday deal. (Photo: Sephora)

Sephora has a couple of great options for holiday shoppers. A representative told Yahoo Life that Same-Day Delivery is the best solution for last-minute purchases and the most likely way to receive gifts all the way through December 24. It's best to play it safe with at least a day of padding.

You can also order your Sephora products online by choosing the "Buy Online & Pick Up" option, then pick them up in store by a sign that says "Online Order Pickup."

Shop Sephora's gift ideas and holiday specials here.

Shutterfly

The destination for one-of-a-kind gifts has knocked up to 50 percent off almost everything for the holidays. They also acknowledge that the supply chain crisis is likely to affect its deliveries, so Shutterfly encourages you to shop by these cut-off dates:

  • Shop by December 15 for Economy Shipping

  • Shop by December 16 for Standard Shipping

  • Shop by December 17 for Expedited Shipping

  • Shop by December 18 for Rush Shipping

  • Shop by December 19 for Super Rush Shipping

The timing cut-off for each date is 7pm EST.

Shop Shutterfly's early Black Friday deals here.

Nike

In order to receive your gift by Christmas, order by December 12 at 10am PST for No-Rush Shipping. Or order by December 14 at 8:30am PST for Standard Shipping.

If you prefer to pay for expedited shipping, you can push that deadline a bit depending on what option you choose. Order by December 20 at 8:00am PST for Expedited Shipping or December 21 at 8:00am PST for Express Shipping.

Or get a Nike e-gift card emailed to you within two hours.

Shop Nike's early Black Friday deals here.