The holiday season is approaching, and this year there is more to consider when sending packages and greeting cards.

For those who will be putting anything in the mail, the Canada Post Christmas deadlines can give you an idea of the latest dates to send items. There's still time, but it's good to know what the cutoff will be.

The amount of time it takes to move something from one place to another depends on a few variables. The most important among these is where the item is going and what shipping method is used.

Canada Post provides a detailed breakdown of how quickly each of their options can get an item where it needs to go, whether it's domestic, to the United States, or anywhere else in the world.

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When are the deadlines for Canada?

If you're planning on sending a package anywhere in the country, the deadline will vary by which method you use for shipping through Canada Post.

If you plan on using Priority Mail, then you have until December 21 to send anything.

The second fastest option, Xpresspost, has the same deadline for local and regional mail, but anything being shipped nationally should be sent by December 18.

Flat rate boxes and regular parcel delivery cutoffs for Christmas vary depending on how far your package is going.

If you plan on shipping nationally with either method, you should be sending flat-rate boxes by December 18 at the latest, and regular parcels by December 16.

As for cards, sending to local and regional addresses should be done by December 21. Anything going nationally should be sent prior to December 18.

What about the rest of the world?

Canadians and Americans may not be able to cross the border as easily these days, but their mail still can.

If you plan on sending anything south of the border through Canada Post, the deadline again depends on what method you are using. 

The fastest is Priority Worldwide shipping, which has a cutoff date for Christmas of December 21. Xpresspost U.S. and Expedited Parcel deadlines are December 11 and 8, respectively.

Small and tracked packets should be sent by December 7, which is also the deadline for mailing cards.

As for the rest of the world, Priority Worldwide shipping should get packages to their destination on time if they are sent by December 18 (with the exception being Central and South America and the Caribbean at December 21).

Packages sent through Xpresspost International have varying deadlines based on where they are headed, but should likely not be sent any later than November 16.

Are there other options?

While Canada Post has done their best to provide delivery times based on everything that has happened this year (while also telling everyone to shop early and be prepared), people may want to know what other options they have.

FedEx has released their holiday schedule, so you have an alternative to traditional mail methods.

Similarly, Purolator has also provided a list of their ship-by dates for the holiday season.