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Holiday shipping deadlines are coming up! These are the important dates to know

Plus, bestselling holiday gifts that will arrive in time.
Christmas gifts during self-isolation period
Svetikd / Getty Images

While there isn't an official deadline for holiday shopping, if you plan to send your gift, you'll likely want to get it done as early as possible to avoid any possible delays — or additional fees.

To make sure that all your gifts make it on time and no one slips through the holiday shopping cracks, we're highlighting some of the key dates that you should keep in mind this season. Though delivery dates might not be guaranteed, there are a few options available to make sure you receive your order as early as possible.

Holiday shipping deadlines for 2023

Below is a list of domestic holiday shipping deadlines for 2023.

USPS holiday shipping deadlines 2023

The following dates are for packages sent within the Lower 48 (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).

Dec. 16: Last day to ship using ground service

Dec. 16: Last day to ship via First-Class Mail

Dec. 18: Last day to ship via Priority Mail

Dec. 20: Last day to ship via Priority Mail Express

UPS holiday shipping deadlines 2023

The following dates are suggestions to ensure delivery by Dec. 23.

Ground shipping: Calculate the exact date using the UPS website

Dec. 19: Last day to ship via UPS Three-Day Select

Dec. 20: Last Day to ship via UPS Second-Day Air

Dec. 21: Last Day to ship via UPS Next Day Air

FedEx holiday shipping deadlines 2022

Dec. 13: Last day to ship via FedEx Ground Economy

Dec. 15: Last day to ship via FedEx Ground Contiguous US, Home Delivery and Freight Express

Dec. 19: Last day to ship via FedEx Express Saver or Three-Day Freight

Dec. 20: Last day to ship via FedEx Two-Day, Two-Day A.M. or Two-Day Ground

Dec. 21: Last day for FedEx One-Day Freight

Dec. 22: Packages can be sent via FedEx Same Day

Amazon holiday shipping deadlines 2023

Amazon has not announced an official holiday delivery calendar, but you'll still want to order as soon as possible. Shoppers can look out for the shipping estimate that is displayed above the "Add to Cart" button to ensure timely delivery as the holidays get closer. Prime members can receive free one-day or two-day shipping and even same-day delivery on select qualifying items, so you should be able to place your order as late as Dec. 23, depending on what you're buying.

Target holiday shipping deadlines 2023

Target has a number of shipping options for shoppers. Items ordered with standard shipping are expected to arrive within three to five business days after the items have been shipped. Items ordered with two-day shipping should arrive within two days of being shipped. For eligible items, if you spend $35 or more or place your order using a RedCard, you can receive free two-day shipping. According to Target, if you place an order on a Thursday with two-day shipping, you can expect a Monday delivery, and orders placed on Fridays are expected to arrive on Tuesday, so you'll want to make sure to place your Christmas orders by Dec. 20 at the latest. Orders placed via Target’s same-day delivery with Shipt before 4 p.m. on Dec. 24, can be delivered as soon as one hour. (For Shipt members, deliveries on orders of $35 or more are free, or they're $9.99 for guests without a Shipt membership.)

You can also can place a drive up or pick-up order online or with the Target app as late as 6 p.m. local time Dec. 24 for same-day pickup.

Walmart deals and holiday shipping deadlines

Take advantage of Walmart’s two-day shipping, which is available on select items. Make sure to double-check your items, as they could also qualify for same-day delivery. Some products may require that you place your order earlier, but plan to order your gifts by Dec. 23 at the latest.

In case you're in need of some inspiration, we're sharing some of Shop TODAY's bestselling holiday gifts, which will arrive in time for your celebrations.

Bestselling holiday gifts

Etsfmoa Unisex Beanie

They’ll appreciate having this beanie for late night dog walks, hiking, football games and more. The light inside is removable and can be charged via USB, so there are no batteries required. It’s one of the Gifts We Love this year and is perfect for the guy who “doesn’t need anything.”

Educational Insights Kanoodle 3D Brain Teaser Puzzle Game

This TikTok viral game will make the perfect present for kids, teens and adults alike. There are over 200 2D and 3D puzzles for them to solve, ranging from beginner-level to hard.


Bitzee Interactive Toy Digital Pet and Case

Unlike other digital pets, Bitzee is one that you can touch and feel! Kids can feed them and play, rock them to sleep and more to watch them grow from baby to adult and eventually into a super Bitzee. 

Shinery Radiance Wash Luxury Jewelry Cleaner and Brush Duo

Searching for a practical gift? Any jewelry-wearer is sure to get plenty of use out of this cleaning kit. It was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things this year, so you know it must be good.

Paintable Pictures | Paint Your Photo by Number

Another one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, this personalized gift is perfect for the pet lover in your life. It allows them to transform their favorite pet photo into a paint-by-numbers masterpiece. You don’t even need a photo of their pet to gift it to them! They can upload their own once it’s unwrapped.

Laura Geller Party in a Palette Guest of Honor Gift Set

Why get them just one makeup palette when you can get them four (and for less than $40)? Each one includes six shimmer and matte eyeshadows, a blush and highlighter or luminous that they can put together for a seamless makeup look.

Thames & Kosmos Mega Cyborg Hand STEM Experiment Kit

Shopping for a budding scientist? They’ll explore hydraulics, pneumatics and robotics as they put together their own functional hydraulic hand.

Barbie Dreamhouse Pool Party Doll House

It’s the year of Barbie! And the iconic doll’s dreamhouse is better than ever, with over 75+ storytelling pieces, a three-story slide and plenty of rooms for them to explore.

JLab Go Air Sport Wireless Workout Earbuds

No, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get your loved one a new pair of headphones. These ones were named one of the Gifts We Love this year, thanks to their affordability and sound quality. 

Tips for getting packages on time

If you're behind on your shopping, don't wait too long to get started.

"Think twice if you're up against a shipping deadline and the package has to travel a long distance, too. The U.S. Postal Service states that mail traveling the longest distances is going to be most affected by its service changes," Katie Roberts, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, told Shop TODAY in an email.

Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, previously shared three pieces of advice that still ring true for shoppers hoping to receive their orders in time for Christmas: Shop early, opt for in-store pickup and embrace gift cards.

To avoid the possibility of delays, virtual or in-store pickup is a viable option for items that are in stock at your local store.

"Many retailers let you buy online and use in-store and/or curbside pickup, and these let you skip shipping costs altogether!" Roberts says. "And if it's not crucial for the package to arrive on a specific day? Forget it — go with the lowest-price delivery option and don't worry about shipping deadlines in those cases."