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When Should I Send My Christmas Cards?

The holidays are coming! Are you ready to start checking tasks off your list? Yes?! We like the way you think! It should come as no surprise our favorite item on that never ending holiday to-do list is “Send Christmas Cards”. Whether it’s your first time sending a holiday greeting, or you’re a seasoned pro, you may find yourself wondering – exactly when should I mail my Christmas cards?

Let’s work our way backward by starting with the moment your friends and family open your Christmas card. Honestly, they’ll be delighted no matter when it arrives. Anytime between mid-November and early-January is completely acceptable. Personally though, we love the sweet spot in the week prior to Christmas. Receiving your card between December 15th and December 22nd makes it feel like a perfectly timed gift from you to your loved ones. But how do you ensure your card arrives during the right time?

If you’re mailing within the United States, check out this handy service standards map from the Postal Service. It’s a fantastic tool that shows you when to mail out holiday cards, depending on your location. The bottom line is, it’s going to take a maximum of 9 days for your card to be delivered within the lower 48 states and up to two weeks to reach Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. territories.

Of course, the majority of your recipients, especially those nearby and in major metropolitan cities, will receive your card in less than half that time. If you’re going to be mailing internationally, you’ll need to allow 7 – 21 days for your card to be delivered via First Class Mail International.

Let’s break down when you should mail your Christmas Cards based on where they are going:

Lower 48 States
Mail On: December 14th
Received Between: December 15th and December 22nd

Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. Territories
Mail On: December 8th
Received By: December 22nd

Mail On: December 1st
Received Between: December 8th and December 22nd

Think you’re ready to roll? Not so fast. Mailing in the first half of December means you’re going to want to create and order your Christmas cards much sooner. Trust us on this; having them in your hands before panic sets in is going to feel SO good! A few tips to remember:

  • Most of our Christmas Cards are printed in 2 days or less.
  • Some special cards, like Foil-Stamped and Tri-fold Christmas Cards , take up to 4 days to print.
  • We do offer expedited shipping but UPS Ground is our most economical option, so try to order early.!
  • Don’t forget to work in a few extra days to address and stuff your envelopes.

Taking all of that into account, this is when you should order your Christmas Cards:

If only mailing to the Lower 48 States
Order By: November 26th

If also mailing to Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. Territories
Order By: November 20th

If also mailing Internationally
Order By: November 12th

Now comes the hard part – choosing which design you’re going to send. Here at Pear Tree, we love creating Christmas cards that stand out from the crowd and we hope you’ll love browsing and narrowing down the design that fits your family!


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