Alana Vandagriff | 

Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2024: Our Predictions for This Year

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When the holidays come around this year you’ll want all your gifts to arrive at their destinations in time,. We’ve put together a cheat sheet of all the holiday shipping deadlines from USPS, FedEx, Amazon, and more. Waiting until the very last minute to order gifts online can have serious consequences — both for your recipient and your wallet.

But doing your shopping at the last minute is nothing to be ashamed of — we’ve all been there. Unless you’ve already built up a good gift stockpile, most of us scramble for last-minute gifts almost every year (no matter how early we start shopping!).

To give you an idea of what to expect in 2024, here are our holiday shipping deadlines and cutoff dates predictions for this year. We’ll update this post as we get closer to the holidays and we confirm the details.

As retailers and shipping carriers continue to update their deadlines or announce further delays, the deadlines may change for FedEx, USPS, UPS, and other specific stores on this list.


When holidays will happen in 2024:

  • Hanukkah: Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2024 – Thursday, Jan. 2, 2025
  • Christmas: Wednesday, Dec. 25
  • Kwanzaa: Thursday, Dec. 26 – Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2025


1. First off, should I expect holiday shipping delays?

YES. Ever since shipping delays first hit us during COVID-19, it’s like we can’t get back to those quick shipping turnaround times of 2019. But that’s okay — you’re going to plan ahead and shop accordingly!

The holiday shipping deadlines we’ll be covering here are just general guidelines for when to shop, but nothing is set in stone as far as the delays go. So shop as early as possible to avoid gifts or greeting cards arriving too late.


2. The USPS absolute last day to ship for Christmas is Dec. 20.

USPS mail truck pulled up to the curb

According to USPS, their holiday shipping deadlines (aka their recommended “send by” dates) for expected delivery before Dec. 25 are anywhere from Dec. 16 – 20, depending on the delivery speed you pay for.

These deadlines only apply to the contiguous U.S states and Alaska (not Hawaii):

  • USPS Ground: Dec. 16
  • First-Class Mail: Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 18
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 20

If you’re shipping to Hawaii, here are your USPS holiday deadlines:

  • USPS Ground: Dec. 16
  • First-Class Mail: Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 20

For international territories, check out the holiday deadlines per country on


3. UPS holiday shipping deadlines are Dec. 19 – 22.

Image of a parked UPS truck in front of a store

Peak season for UPS shipping starts around Nov. 13, which means that after that date, some packages may take additional time (more than 3 days) to arrive at their destinations.

Here are the domestic holiday shipping deadlines (their recommended “send by” dates) to have your gifts arrive by Dec. 23 this year, according to their website:

  • UPS 3-Day Select: Dec. 19
  • UPS 2nd-Day Air: Dec. 20
  • UPS Next-Day Air: Dec. 21

TIP: UPS has an online calculator to estimate when your package will arrive (and how much it’ll cost to ship) based on your location.


4. FedEx holiday shipping deadlines are Dec. 13 – 22, depending on which speed you pay for.

FedEx Express truck in midtown Manhattan.

FedEx created a handy holiday shipping deadlines chart for each of their many delivery methods. If you’re shipping with FedEx, these are the recommended “send by” dates for gifts to arrive before Dec. 24 if you’re shipping in the U.S.:


FedEx Ground

  • FedEx Ground: Dec. 15 – 21 (depending on which shipping speed you select)
  • FedEx Ground Economy: Dec. 13


FedEx Express

  • FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 19
  • FedEx Express 3-Day Freight: Dec. 19
  • FedEx 2-Day: Dec. 20
  • FedEx Express 2-Day Freight: Dec. 20
  • FedEx Express 1-Day Freight: Dec. 21
  • FedEx Same Day: Dec. 22

For Alaska, Hawaii, and International territories, see the 2024 FedEx special shipping deadlines on



5. Your absolute last day to order from Kohl’s is Dec. 20 for delivery by Christmas Eve.

person picking up kohls delivered box from front step

Kohl’s no longer guarantees delivery by Christmas with their Standard Shipping, or for any of their deliveries in Alaska or Hawaii. However, if your items are eligible for expedited shipping, your deadlines in 2023 are as follows:

  • 2-Day Shipping: 1 p.m. CT on Dec. 19
  • 1-Day Shipping: 1 p.m. CT on Dec. 20

Kohl’s also offers free store pickup. You can usually pick up in-stock items in two hours or less, but availability may be limited on Dec. 24.

If you’re in a time crunch, you can buy a Kohl’s e-gift card, which gets instantly delivered to any email address. So you can order by 10 p.m. CT on Dec. 25 and your gift card will still arrive on Christmas Day!

Related: See all the last-minute Kohl’s deals we’re finding.


6. Your last day to shop with Amazon Prime is Dec. 22 for gifts to arrive before Christmas (or Dec. 17 for non-Prime).

A person opening amazon boxes with a knife.

While Amazon Prime members can technically shop on Dec. 24 with Same-Day Delivery, availability isn’t guaranteed for all items (and it’s probably not worth the risk of your gifts arriving after Christmas).

Your best bet for last-minute Amazon shopping is to place your order by Dec. 22 with Prime 1-Day Delivery, or Dec. 21 with Prime 2-Day Delivery.

If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get free standard shipping on orders of $35 or more (it used to be a $25 minimum, but the Amazon shipping minimums have changed for certain shoppers). You’ll need to order by Dec. 17 for standard delivery by Christmas.

Waited too long? You can order Amazon eGift cards or Amazon Prime Memberships on Dec. 25 for immediate arrival on Christmas Day.

Related: See all last-minute Amazon deals.


7. Your last day to shop at Best Buy is Dec. 20 for gifts to arrive before Christmas.

person shopping at best buy with yellow basket

Best Buy’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 20 for free standard shipping. You’ll need to order by 10:30 a.m. CT on on Dec. 20 to get your gifts delivered before Dec. 25.

If your order is eligible for Next-Day Delivery, you can order by 8 p.m. local time on Dec. 23. If your order is eligible for Same-Day Delivery, order by noon local time on Dec. 24.

Best Buy also offers free store pickup. You can shop online as late as 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve to have gifts under the tree that night!

  • Dec. 13 – 23: Order on and select “Fast Store Pickup” for your order to be ready within the hour.
  • Dec. 24: Order on by 5 p.m. local time and select “Fast Store Pickup” for your order to be ready by 6 p.m.

Related: See all last-minute Best Buy deals.


8. Your last day to shop at Macy’s is today Dec. 20 for delivery before Christmas.

macys package on front door welcome mat

Macy’s holiday shipping deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET tonight, Dec. 20 for free Standard Shipping on orders of $25+. Order by 5 p.m. ET and get Premium Shipping.

  • If your order qualifies for Express Shipping, order by noon ET on Dec. 21.
  • If your order qualifies for Same-Day Delivery (select areas only), order by 10 a.m. local time on Dec. 24.

Macy’s also offers in-store and contact-free curbside pickup. Order by 3 p.m. local time on Dec. 24 (for items already in stock at your store).

Macy’s e-gift cards are sent to you by email. You can order e-gift cards by 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 24 for superfast delivery.

Related: See all last-minute Macy’s deals.


9. Shop at on or before Dec. 21 for gifts before Christmas.

A person pushing a Target shopping cart by a holiday display inside Target

Target uses multiple shipping carriers (including FedEx and UPS) to deliver packages. Most packages arrive in one or two days.

Target’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 21 for hundreds of thousands of items that are eligible for free two-day shipping. Order cutoff times vary by ZIP code, so double-check your delivery estimate on

If you’re a Target RedCard holder, you get free two-day shipping with no purchase minimum. If you don’t have a RedCard, you’ll get free two-day shipping only on orders of $35 or more.

Target also offers free same-day delivery in as little as one hour with Shipt. And there’s always Target Drive Up service.

Related: See all last-minute Target deals.



10. Walmart+ members should order by Dec. 21 (regular shoppers by Dec. 19) for delivery before Christmas.

Two Walmart boxes on a doorstep

If you’re a Walmart+ member, place your order by Dec. 21 to guarantee delivery by Christmas. Walmart+ members get unlimited free next-day and two-day shipping on Walmart orders with no purchase minimum.

If you’re not a Walmart+ member, you’ll get free shipping on orders $35 or more (for all shipping methods), and you should place your order by Dec. 19 to have gifts arrive by Dec. 25 with ground shipping.

Remember that Walmart also offers free curbside and store pickup. If you need something the same day, look for items marked “Free Pickup Today” on

Related: See all last-minute Walmart deals.


11. Place your JCPenney orders by Dec. 15 for delivery by Christmas.

A person's hand taking a JCPenney package out of a mailbox.

According to a couple of JCPenney’s customer service reps, their holiday shipping deadlines vary depending on the items, warehouse locations, etc. So, we suggest you use a deadline of noon CT on Dec. 15 with Standard Delivery (which can take 3 – 5 days, not counting weekends). Standard Delivery is free on orders of $49 or more at JCPenney.

For faster shipping options, choose Expedited 3-Day, 2-Day, or 1-Day Shipping. But beware — the fees for expedited shipping can get pretty steep, up to $45.

JCPenney also offers Same-Day Curbside and In-Store Pickup. You can pick up your order in as little as two hours, but waiting until Christmas Eve is ALWAYS a risk (no matter where you shop).

For a quick gift delivered the same day, order a JCPenney e-gift card. It will get emailed to you within 12 hours.

Related: See all last-minute JCPenney deals.


12. Your last day to shop at Home Depot is Dec. 16 to get gifts before Christmas.

The Pro Service desk in the home depot.

Home Depot’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 16 for standard delivery. Most orders qualify for free standard delivery on orders of $45 or more.

Even though Home Depot offers free two-day shipping on eligible items, we recommend ordering as close to Dec. 16 as possible (even with expedited delivery).

Home Depot also offers free curbside pickup and in-store pickup. Some items qualify for store pickup in a matter of hours, but current holiday delays could impact how quickly they’re able to fulfill those orders.

Related: See all last-minute Home Depot deals.


13. Lowe’s last-chance shipping deadline is Dec. 15 for delivery before Christmas.

lowes christmas holiday seasonal department

Lowe’s holiday shipping deadline is noon ET on Dec. 15 with standard delivery. You’ll get free standard shipping on qualifying orders of $45 or more.

Free curbside and store pickup is also available, but be sure to wait for an email confirming your items are ready before you head to the store.

Related: See all last-minute Lowe’s deals.


14. Your last day to shop online at Gap and Old Navy is Dec. 15 for gifts before Christmas.

old navy scarves in shopping cart

Gap and Old Navy’s holiday shipping deadlines are Dec. 15 for standard delivery (which takes four to seven business days). If you’re a Gap Goods Rewards member, standard delivery is free on orders of $50 or more.

If your order is eligible for Express Shipping, order before 1 p.m. on Dec. 21. Express Shipping is an extra $17.

If your order is eligible for Priority Shipping, order by 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 22. Next Business Day Shipping is an extra $25.

Gap and Old Navy also offer curbside and in-store pickup. Order by 2 p.m. local time on Dec. 24 to pick up items in just two hours.

Related: See all last-minute Gap deals and Old Navy deals.


15. Place your L.L.Bean order by midnight, Dec. 20, for delivery by Christmas.

L.L.Bean storefront

L.L.Bean’s holiday shipping deadline is midnight, Dec. 20, for standard delivery, according to their website. You’ll get free standard shipping on orders of $75 or more.

You can order L.L.Bean e-gift cards for same-day delivery by email.


16. Select Apple products can be ordered as late as Dec. 21 for delivery by Christmas Eve.

A person taking an iPad pro out of a shipping box with another Apple product inside.

The Christmas delivery deadline for Apple will vary depending on the item. Most Apple products will arrive by Christmas if you order them by Dec. 21. In most areas, in-stock items will be available for store pickup or two-hour delivery as late as Dec. 24.

Here’s a peek at some of the specific product deadlines, some of which have already passed:

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max or iPhone 15 Pro: Nov. 15
  • iPad Mini: Nov. 30
  • Most engraved AirPods: Dec. 19
  • Most engraved iPads (except 10th Gen): Dec. 19

For the full list of Apple deadlines, visit the Apple holiday shipping page.


17. Sephora orders must be placed by Dec. 19 for standard shipping.

sephora shipping box on porch

If you’re ordering a gift from Sephora, the cutoff date for standard shipping is Dec. 19 at 6 a.m. ET. Standard shipping (which takes one to three business days) is free for Beauty Insiders with no minimum purchase. For non-members, standard shipping is free with a $50 purchase (below that, the standard shipping fee is $6.95).

The last day for Flash 2-Day Shipping is Dec. 20 at 9 a.m. ET.

The cutoff for Flash 1-Day Shipping is Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. ET.

You can order a Sephora e-gift card on Christmas Day and have it arrive the same day to the recipient’s email.


18. Personalized Etsy orders should be placed before the first week of December.

granda morse code bracelet

Etsy shipping deadlines will vary by seller. Each seller must follow the shipping deadlines set by their parcel services. Most sellers have listed their holiday cutoffs on their product pages, but for the most part, check the parcel service cutoff dates, and then factor in additional time for customization and creation.

For most Etsy gifts, you should order before the first week of December.


19. Harry & David’s standard shipping deadline is Dec. 18, but they have expedited options.

A person holding a small giftbox behind a counter of nuts and pears on plates.

If you’re ordering a gourmet gift from Harry & David, you’ll need to place your order by Dec. 18 for their standard shipping option to have it delivered within four to seven business days.

On Dec. 20, you can get your goodies delivered by Christmas with two-day Express when you use the promo code DASH5 during checkout online at

For last-minute gifts, Harry & David offers overnight delivery, which cuts off on Dec. 21. They also have overnight Saturday delivery, which has to be placed by Dec. 22. Charges will apply for expedited shipping options.


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