The United States Postal Service has issued what could be perceived as an ominous warning for those who plan to ship packages and parcels this holiday season. While the holiday season has always had its deadlines, I don't recall them being as early as what the Postal Service has announced for November 5th, 2022.

A woman looking at her mail (letter or bills) in disbelief, shock!

You've probably heard stories and most likely stories featuring complaints about the way the United States Postal Service handles its business. There have been complaints about service delays and there have even been times when service has been suspended.

Factor in rising fuel costs and the pandemic, the times have not been super easy for the ladies and gentlemen who trudge through the sleet, snow, and dark of night to make sure we get our pizza coupons on Wednesday. And now, we the holiday season looming the Postal Service is facing a challenge of increased demands while monitoring and managing costs.

US Postal Services Looks To Redesign Its Truck Fleet
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

To prepare for the "Holiday Rush" the postal service has been planning since January. They've deployed over 130 new package processing machines and converted some 41,000 part-time workers to full-time. The Service also plans to bring on an additional 28,000 seasonal employees as we move into the holiday shipping season.

But what about November 5th? What happens then?

As you might imagine managing consumer expectations is a pretty big deal in industries such as the Postal Service. One way to manage those expectations is to impose deadlines. This way consumers know what to expect when they drop their holiday packages in the mail.

Post Offices Brace For Busiest Mailing Day Of The Year
Getty Images

November 5th is now the hard and fast deadline for customers who want to ensure delivery by December 25th to Military Addresses in All Zip Codes. No matter if it's an Air/Army Post Office (APO), a Fleet Post Office (FPO), or a Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)—should ship them with USPS Retail Ground service by this date.

Now you can still get packages to loved ones before Christmas after the November 5th deadline if you bump up your shipping costs to Priority Mail and First Class Mail. The deadline for those services is December 9th. You can pay even more for Priority Mail Express Military services too, that deadline is December 17th.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Now for customers at non-military addresses in the continental United States, your basic deadline for Christmas arrival is December 17th. For Priority Mail is December 19th and for Priority Express Mail your deadline will be December 23rd.

Oh, and even if you meet or beat these deadlines there is still no concrete guarantee that your packages will reach their destination by December 25th. Of course, it won't be the Postal Service's fault it will be because of a natural disaster or some other government upheaval.

So now you know, get those holiday cards and parcels ready to go because as of this writing there are only 80 days until Christmas. Here's the official countdown clock.  Man, time sure flies when you aren't stuck at home during a pandemic, huh?

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