Folks, you’re running out of time.
If you haven’t ordered or shipped the gifts you’re hoping to get to your loved ones in time to make it under the tree, you’re going to need to act fast. Christmas Day is next Wednesday, and thanks to an especially short turnaround between Thanksgiving and the big holiday event next week, this year has afforded gift-givers even less time than usual to get stuff where it’s going.
Here’s the thing to remember if you’re shipping stuff between now and Christmas: Expect longer than advertised shipping times. Earlier this month, for example, Amazon told Recode that winter storms and “order volume” were to blame for delayed delivery times, and it’s probably best to expect that could be the case with any number of other retailers.
Fast Company this week rounded up the deadlines of a number of major brands and big box stores as well as the three major shipping companies. Some brands, such as L.L. Bean (sans monogramming, alterations, or engraving orders) and Best Buy (for most items), advertise that your package will arrive in time if it’s placed by Friday.
If you’re shipping yourself, the opportunity to send a package via ground delivery either through UPS or USPS has already passed, and the last day to do so through FedEx is Monday. (You can still use more expensive options to ship through these couriers, but they’ll cost you.)
Basically, the time to ship your package yourself is now—like, right now. If you’re ordering online, individual ship dates vary and it’s best to check with the retailer before placing your order. A safe bet—even for those that promise Christmas Eve delivery for orders placed before Friday—is to get those orders in before this Wednesday if you plan to avoid ruining Christmas.