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The holidays are here, and if you want all your gifts to arrive at their destinations in time, you’re going to need a cheat sheet of all the holiday shipping deadlines. Waiting until the very last minute to order gifts online may have serious consequences this year, as we expect holiday shipping delays to pop up again.
But doing your shopping at the last minute is nothing to be ashamed of — we’ve all been there. In fact, I find myself scrambling for last-minute gifts almost every year (no matter how early I start shopping).
To help you plan, we’ve gathered up all the holiday shipping deadlines and cutoff dates in order for packages to arrive by Dec. 25, 2022.
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.
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 turnarounds of 2019. But that’s okay — you’re going to plan ahead and shop accordingly!
The holiday shipping deadlines we’ll be covering 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.
When holidays will happen in 2022:
- Hanukkah: Dec. 18 – Dec. 26
- Christmas: Dec. 25
- Kwanzaa: Dec. 26 – Jan. 1
2. The USPS last day to ship for Christmas is Dec. 23.
According to USPS, these are the holiday shipping deadlines (aka their recommended “send by” dates) for expected delivery before Dec. 25. These deadlines only apply to the contiguous U.S states (not Alaska or Hawaii):
USPS Retail Ground Service: Dec. 17
First-Class Mail Service: Dec. 17
Priority Mail Service: Dec. 19
Priority Mail Express Service: Dec. 23
If shipping to Alaska or Hawaii, here are your USPS holiday deadlines:
USPS Retail Ground Service: Dec. 2 (Alaska only)
First-Class Mail Service: Dec. 17
Priority Mail Service: Dec. 17
Priority Mail Express Service: Dec. 21
For international territories, check out the holiday deadlines per country on USPS.com.
3. UPS holiday shipping deadlines are Dec. 20 – 22.
According to UPS, these are the holiday shipping deadlines (their recommended “send by” dates) to have your gifts arrive by Dec. 25:
UPS 3-Day Select Service: Dec. 20
UPS 2nd-Day Air Service: Dec. 21
UPS Next-Day Air Service: Dec. 22
UPS also 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. 8 – 23.
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. 25 if you’re shipping in the U.S.:
- FedEx Same Day: Dec. 23
- FedEx 2-Day Express: Dec. 21
- FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 20
- FedEx 1-Day Freight Express: Dec. 22
- FedEx 2-Day Freight Express: Dec. 21
- FedEx 3-Day Freight Express: Dec. 20
- FedEx Ground: Dec. 14
- FedEx Ground Economy: Dec. 8
For Alaska, Hawaii, and International territories, see the 2022 FedEx special shipping deadlines on FedEx.com.
5. Your last day to shop at Kohl’s is Dec. 19 for delivery by Christmas.
Kohl’s no longer guarantees delivery by Christmas with Standard Shipping. However, if your items are eligible for 2-Day Shipping, place your order by 1 p.m. CT on Dec. 19.
If your items are eligible for 1-Day Shipping, place your order by 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.
Kohl’s E-Gift Cards are instantly delivered to your email address. Order by 10 p.m. CT on Dec. 25 for your gift to arrive on Christmas Day!
See all Kohl’s Deals.
6. Your last day to shop on Amazon is Dec. 23 for gifts to arrive before Christmas.
While Amazon Prime members can technically shop on Dec. 24 with Same-Day Delivery, availability isn’t guaranteed for all items (and it’s not worth the risk of gifts arriving after Christmas).
Your best bet for last-minute Amazon shopping is to place your order by Dec. 23 with Prime 1-Day Delivery or Dec. 22 with Prime 2-Day Delivery.
If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get Free Standard Shipping on orders of $25 or more. Order by Dec. 17 for standard delivery by Christmas.
Amazon eGift cards or Amazon Prime Memberships can be ordered on Dec. 25 for immediate arrival on Christmas Day.
See all last-minute Amazon deals.
7. Your last day to shop at Best Buy is Dec. 20 for gifts to arrive before Christmas.
Best Buy’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 20 for free standard shipping. Order by 10:30 a.m. CT on BestBuy.com to get your gifts delivered before Dec. 25.
If your order is eligible for Next-Day Delivery, 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 BestBuy.com and select “Fast Store Pickup” for your order to be ready within the hour.
- Dec. 24: Order on BestBuy.com by 5 p.m. local time and select “Fast Store Pickup” for your order to be ready by 6 p.m.
See all last-minute Best Buy deals.
8. Your last day to shop at Macy’s is Dec. 22 for delivery before Christmas.
Macy’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 21 for free standard shipping on orders of $35+. Order by 5 p.m. ET to get your gifts in time for Christmas.
If your order qualifies for Express Shipping, order by noon ET on Dec. 22.
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.
See all last-minute Macy’s deals.
9. Shop at Target on or before Dec. 22 for gifts before Christmas.
Target’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 22 for hundreds of thousands of items eligible for Free 2-Day Shipping. Order cutoff times vary by Zip code, so double-check your delivery estimate on Target.com.
If you’re a Target RedCard member, you get Free 2-Day Shipping with no purchase minimum. If you don’t have a RedCard, you’ll get Free 2-Day Shipping 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.
Target uses multiple shipping carriers (including FedEx and UPS) to deliver packages. Most packages arrive in one or two days.
See all last-minute Target deals.
10. Walmart+ members should order by Dec. 22 (regular shoppers by Dec. 20) for delivery before Christmas.
If you’re a Walmart+ member, place your order by Dec. 22 to guarantee delivery by Christmas. Walmart+ members get Unlimited Free Next-Day and 2-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. 20 to have gifts delivered by Dec. 25 via ground shipping.
Walmart also offers Free Curbside and Store Pickup. If you need something the same day, look for items marked “Free Pickup Today” on Walmart.com.
For all Walmart orders, check the delivery estimate for each item at checkout.
See all last-minute Walmart deals.
11. Place your JCPenney orders by Dec. 19 for delivery by Christmas.
JCPenney’s holiday shipping deadline is noon (CST) Dec. 19 with Standard Delivery. Standard Delivery is free on orders of $49 or more.
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.
JCPenney also offers Same-Day Curbside and In-Store Pickup. You can pick up your order in as soon 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 be emailed to you within 12 hours.
See all last-minute JCPenney deals.
12. Your last day to shop at Home Depot is Dec. 16 to get gifts before Christmas.
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 2-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 fulfillment speeds.
See all last-minute Home Depot deals.
13. Lowe’s last-chance shipping deadline is Dec. 15 for delivery before Christmas.
Lowe’s holiday shipping deadline is noon EST on Dec. 15 with Standard Delivery. And if you’re a MyLowe’s member, you can get free standard shipping on qualifying orders of $45 or more. If you’re not a member of MyLowe’s, you can get free shipping on qualifying orders over $45.
Free Curbside and Store Pickup is also available, but make sure to wait for an email confirming your items are ready for you before heading to the store.
See all last-minute Lowe’s deals.
14. Your last day to shop at Gap and Old Navy is Dec. 15 for gifts before Christmas.
Gap and Old Navy’s holiday shipping deadline is 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 & In-Store Pickup. Order by 2 p.m. local time on Dec. 24 to pick up items in just two hours.
See all last-minute Gap deals and Old Navy deals.
15. Place your L.L.Bean order by Dec. 18 for delivery by Christmas.
L.L.Bean’s holiday shipping deadline is Dec. 18 for standard delivery. You’ll get Free Standard Shipping on orders of $50 or more.
Even for Express Shipping, L.L.Bean recommends Dec. 18 as the cutoff date for holiday packages to arrive by Dec. 25.
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.
The Christmas delivery deadline for Apple varies by product. The iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro deadline was Nov. 15 and has already passed. But you still have time to purchase other Apple products to arrive in time for Christmas. In most areas, in-stock items will be available for store pickup or 2-hour delivery as late as Dec. 24.
The iPad Mini won’t be available to ship later than Nov. 30, most engraved AirPods and iPads (except 10th Gen) are available to ship until Dec. 19. and most any other Apple products will arrive by Christmas if ordered by Dec. 21. For the full list, visit the Apple holiday shipping page.
17. Sephora orders must be placed by Dec. 20 for standard shipping.
If you’re ordering a gift from Sephora, the cutoff date for Standard Shipping is Dec. 20 at 6 a.m. EST. Standard shipping (which takes one to three business days) is free for Beauty Insiders with no minimum purchase. For non-member guests, standard shipping is free with $50 purchase. Guests who purchase under $50 worth of merchandise will pay $6.95 for standard shipping.
The last day for Flash 2-Day Shipping and client-paid 2-Day Shipping is Dec. 21, 6 a.m. EST.
The cutoff for Flash 1-Day Shipping and client-paid 1-Day Shipping is Dec. 22, 6 a.m. EST.
Shoppers can order a Sephora e-gift card on Christmas Day and have it arrive same-day to the recipients email.
18. ULTA shipping cutoffs for standard shipping is Dec. 17.
The ULTA Beauty shipping deadline for their standard delivery, which costs $6.95 or is free with $35 orders, is 11:59 p.m. CT, Dec. 17. Miss that cutoff, you have a couple other options:
- Expedited Shipping costs $12.95. The shipping deadline is noon CT, Dec. 21.
- Premium Shipping is $19.95 and has a cutoff date of noon CT, Dec. 22, for holiday Christmas Eve delivery.
19. Personalized Etsy orders should be placed very soon.
Etsy shipping deadlines will vary by seller. Each seller must follow the shipping deadlines set by parcel services. Most sellers have listed their holiday cutoffs on their product pages, but for the most part, review the parcel service cutoffs and add customization/maker time to these. For most Etsy gifts, you should order before the first week of December.
20. Harry & David’s standard shipping deadline is Dec. 19, but offers expedited options.
If your lucky recipient is going to receive a gourmet gift from Harry & David, you’ll need to order by Dec. 19 for their Standard Shipping option to have it delivered within four to seven business days.
Their 3-Day Express shipping cutoff is Dec. 20 and 2-Day Express is Dec. 21.
For last minute gifts, Harry & David offers Overnight Delivery which cuts off on Dec. 22 and Overnight Saturday Delivery must be ordered by Dec. 23. Charges will apply for expedited shipping options.
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