NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Christmas is less than a week away, which means people are scrambling to ship their cards and gifts in hopes they arrive by the holiday.

“It was too cold on Saturday, and Friday it was raining,” one woman said.

“I’m a chronic procrastinator,” another said.

The James A. Farley United States Postal Service building in Midtown, Manhattan is one of the busiest post offices in the country.

“Life gets in the way, everyone gets distracted, we all have school, work, children,” Postmaster Kevin Crocilla told CBS2’s Jill Nicolini. “But we’re here to hopefully get everyone in and out and get those packages delivered.”

So what are the deadlines to guarantee your letters and packages will make it on time?

In order to guarantee delivery from the United States Postal Service in time for the holiday, you are cutting it close, but there is still time.

Holiday Shipping Rates And Dates: FedEx, UPS And U.S. Postal Service Deadlines

On Tuesday December 20, you need to select First-Class shipping. On Wednesday December 21, you must choose Priority Mail. Finally, your very last chance will be Friday December 23, when you need to choose Priority Mail Express.

USPS Guranteed Delivery Before Christmas Dates
December 20th: First-Class Mail
December 21st: Priority Mail
December 23rd: Priority Mail Express

The postal service expects to deliver a total of nearly 16 billion cards and letters between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, and that’s not including packages.

“We are expecting to process over 750 million packages, which is a 12 percent increase over last year,” USPS Spokesperson Xavier Hernandez said.

UPS has some other shipping options. On Wednesday December 21, select 2nd Day Air, on Thursday December 22, select Next Day Air or Even, and on Friday December 23, select Next Day Air but you must choose Saturday Delivery to arrive in time.

If you really wait until the last minute, select FedEx locations will even ship on Christmas Day using the FedEx Same Day service. The company recommends using FedEx Express by Friday December 23.

Also keep in mind many post offices and other delivery services have extended holiday hours.

But don’t forget — the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be.


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