The United States Postal Service expects to deliver more than 15 billion holiday cards, letters, and packages this holiday season, according to USPS information. That number includes more than 600 million packages.
USPS expects standard domestic mail to arrive on time in the continental United States if mailed by Dec. 15. The likelihood of delivery in time for Christmas drops quickly after that date and the cost of guaranteed delivery rises. The post office offers priority mail express with a mail-by date of Dec. 23, but encourages senders to allow extra time for mail being delivered outside major cities.
For international destinations, mail-by dates run from Dec. 1 to Dec. 11 depending on destination with Global Express Guaranteed service available through Dec. 19 for most countries.
Local post offices have information for mail going to specific zip codes and rate listings to help senders decide which service is best for them.