Getting packages delivered in time for the holidays is essential to have a Merry Christmas. But it is also important to know the cutoff dates for shipping with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), UPS (UPS), and FedEx (FDX), so disappointment doesn’t set in on Christmas morning. Here are the deadlines to ship those holiday gifts to ensure they arrive just in time for the holidays.

USPS

The USPS offers a number of options to help gift-givers get those last-minute holiday gifts to their loved ones in time for Christmas celebrations. These are the deadline for shipping in the U.S. with the USPS.

Dec. 14: All USPS Retail Ground shipments must be made by this date.

Dec. 18: Shipping to Alaska from the mainland? First-Class Mail shipments will get there by Christmas.

Dec. 19: Looking to ship to Hawaii from the mainland U.S.? Use Priority Mail and First-Class Mail.

Dec. 20: First Class shipments will arrive by Christmas.

Dec. 21: Use Priority Mail for those last-minute shipments. This is also the deadline for shipping from Alaska and Hawaii to the mainland U.S. through Priority Mail Express.

Dec. 23: This is the last option to get a package delivered in time for Christmas with the USPS. Make sure to use Priority Mail Express.

UPS

UPS has some hard dates for shipping packages by Christmas, but it does offer last-minute services for gifts that just need to get to their recipient in time. Remember these dates to ship packages for the holidays.

Dec. 13: This is the last day to ship gifts via UPS Ground.

Dec. 19: Choose UPS 3 Day Select for packages to arrive by Christmas.

Dec. 20: UPS’ 2nd Day Air service will get a gift to its destination just in time for the holidays.

Dec. 23: Next Day Air is the last option that UPS offers for holiday package delivery by Christmas.

FedEx

FedEx offers the latest date possible for shipping packages by Christmas. It offers same-day delivery, in some instances, with an array of other delivery options also available prior to Dec. 25. Keep these deadlines in mind when shipping those holiday packages.

Dec. 9: Use SmartPost for deliveries to arrive by Christmas.

Dec. 16: Ground and home delivery will get packages to their rightful owners in time for the holidays.

Dec. 19: Express Saver will ensure gifts arrive just in time.

Dec. 20: This is the deadline for two-day delivery options with FedEx.

Dec 23: FedEx still offers overnight delivery options for holiday packages by this date.

Dec. 25: Very last-minute gift-givers will need to select FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City Direct, or City Priority for their package deliveries to make it by the holidays.

Shares of UPS stock were down 0.98% as of 1:16 p.m. EST on Tuesday while shares of FedEx stock were down 3.82% at the same time. 

UPS driver T.J. Dellasala delivers two packages from Amazon.com in Boston, Massachusetts UPS driver T.J. Dellasala delivers two packages from Amazon.com in Boston, Massachusetts in this July 26, 2011 file photo. Photo: REUTERS