Domestic cut-off dates to have packages received by Dec. 25:
First-class mail: Dec. 20
Priority mail: Dec. 20
Express mail: Dec. 22
Parcel post (regular mail): Saturday
DBMC drop ship: Dec. 20
DDU drop ship: Dec. 21
International mailing deadlines range from Dec. 12 to Dec. 19 for express mail international and global expressed guaranteed delivery. Deadlines for first class international and priority mail international delivery have passed.
Steamboat Springs Mike Evans, chief official at the Steamboat Springs Post Office, has one piece of advice for those looking to get gifts and packages to their destinations by Dec. 25: "Do not wait until the last minute."
Evans said Monday will be the Post Office's busiest shipping and receiving day of the holiday season and the year. Both the downtown and Sunset Plaza branches will have additional staff working to handle the rush.
"We are loading up on as many people as we can to keep the line moving," Evans said, adding that the Post Office will be running extra dispatches to Denver for the next couple of weeks.
Saturday is the deadline to mail items such as cards and letters by parcel post mail - the Post Office's cheapest mailing option. Because parcel post relies on available airplane space to move items, Evans said that at this point, getting mail to its destination by Dec. 25 is not a sure thing.
"They say the 15th to get it there by Christmas, and it probably will be, but it's not guaranteed," Evans said.
Any time after Dec. 20 will be considered the "last minute" for first-class or priority mail. Evans said Post Office customers should use express mail until Dec. 22. After that, you're out of luck.
To ensure safe delivery of letters and packages, Evans said to make sure everything is addressed clearly and correctly and packaged well. He recommended purchasing insurance against loss or getting confirmed delivery for any valuable items.