The holidays are fast approaching and it's good to get a jump on Christmas cards and packages. However, most of us need some deadlines so we know that we can get them there on time. Here are some important dates so your holiday goodies get there on time. The United States Postal Service is gearing up to make sure all of your packages and your Christmas cards get to your loved ones on time. They have set up a schedule to take the guess work on when you should absolutely have your stuff in the mail.

According to Fox43, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver nearly sixteen billion items in the mail. The week of December 10th is when the increase begins and the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Typically, the week of December 17th is the busiest for all mailing, shipping and deliveries.

Here's a guide of dates of when to mail. There are even suggested dates if you are mailing stuff to the troops overseas.

  • Dec. 4      – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail & First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 11    – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 14    – USPS Retail Ground
  • Dec. 18    – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express
  • Dec. 20    – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 20    – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 20   –  Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 20    – Priority Mail
  • Dec. 20    – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 22    – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
  • Dec. 22    – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
  • Dec. 22    – Priority Mail Express