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Last Minute Gifts? The Time Is NOW for Holiday Shipping!

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Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have last-minute holiday shopping to be done, your last-minute holiday shipping also needs to be factored in... which means the time is now!

Even though festive shopping appears to have prompted less stress this holiday season, even the most seasoned shoppers can feel the pinch as Christmas nears and the deadlines begin to bite.

Here's what you need to know to complete a successful last dash to the gifting finish line.

Domestic Deadlines for Holiday Shipping

First and foremost, remember that we're talking about the continental U.S. here. Although specific providers may have last-minute shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and perhaps Canada, you should check in with them to confirm those deadlines.

For packages mailed within the U.S., your final day for letters and cards is tomorrow, December 20th, although you could also pop them into your bigger priority mail package to delay the deadline until Saturday 21st Dec.

For the latest of the late shoppers, USPS Express Mail packages can be shipped as late as Monday 23rd December, giving you a whole weekend to search for that final perfect present for your dearest who aren't nearest.

If you're gifting outside of U.S. borders, however, most of the deadlines will have passed. Other than paying a hefty premium for your urgent international gift, looking at digital gifts or a provider who can still deliver in your destination country is likely to be the best bet. And if you wake up on Christmas Eve with a minute to midnight (we don't need to know what you've been up to), there's always the trusted fall back of e-gift cards to most digital retailers... just don't forget to at least personalize the e-mail.

Don't Drop the Ball, Use Safe Packing Practices

Capacity LLC is obsessed with the best packing practices. Ever since we successfully shipped Dorito's and Tide laundry detergent in the same boxes, we've been consistently refining the packing process to squeeze out every last inch of product safety.

As you can see from the 'Dropping Stuff Off the Roof' video series on our YouTube channel, we're out there testing for you on a regular basis!

Our general tips for best-practice packing are:

  • Check first to make sure your items will fit a Priority Mail box if you plan to use that service. Remember that catchy tag line "If it fits, it ships!" If not, you'll need to plan your own external packaging.
  • Wrap items individually with a mixture of paper and plastic bubble packaging.
  • Add an additional protective layer around all of the items in your package.
  • No packing peanuts!
  • Check your final package for rattles. If items can still shift around, add an extra layer of paper.
  • Use standard packing tape, clear or brown, to close up your package. Don't use string or cords which can jam up machinery.

Once your final package is in the mailbox, put your feet up and enjoy your favorite holiday treat to celebrate a job well done for another year. Happy Holidays!