US Postal Service shares holiday deadlines and tips

The U.S. Postal Service has released its dates for when letters and packages should be mailed to get to their intended recipient before Christmas Day.

International priority mail express and standard post should be sent by Dec. 15, first class mail sent by Dec. 20, global express and priority mail by Dec. 21 and priority mail express by Dec. 23.

For those sending parcels to someone in the armed forces, first class and priority mail should be sent by Dec. 9 and priority mail express by Dec. 16.

The postal service suggests using a sturdy box, using newspaper or packing material to cushion fragile items, removing batteries from electronics and placing an extra shipping label inside the box in case the item needs to be returned.

It also recommends writing addresses clearly in capital letters on packages, getting the correct zip code for the recipient and writing “fragile” on the box to ensure it is handled with extra care.

The website can be a tool to calucate the cost of shipping, print out shipping labels and customs forms as well as order stamps, the postal service said.