Love it or loathe it, the countdown to Christmas is well underway. If you’re someone who ends up frantically racing around at the 11th hour in a desperate bid to source a thoughtful gift for your nearest and dearest (guilty as charged), do yourself a favour this festive season and ensure all those lovingly written cards and presents reach their recipient well before the big day arrives.
To help you organise your time at this hectic time of year, we’ve listed all the crucial posting dates you need to know to ensure you’re ahead of the game this yuletide.
When are the last posting dates for Christmas 2019 in the UK?
The latest posting dates for UK parcels and letters are:
Wednesday 18 December: 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For 2nd Class
Friday 20 December: 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For 1st Class and Royal Mail Tracked 48
Saturday 21 December: Royal Mail Tracked 24
Monday 23 December: Royal Mail Special Delivery
There will be no Royal Mail delivery or collection service on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but a normal service will resume on Friday 27 December.
In Scotland, 2 January is a bank holiday, which means no deliveries or collections north of the border.
When are the last posting dates for sending items internationally?
If you’re sending items using the International Standard (also known as Airmail), you’ll need to leave a few more weeks to ensure your goodwill messages get to their destination in time.
Dates for each country vary, but you can view a full list here.
We’ve also picked out a few popular posting destinations below:
Australia: Thursday 12 December
Canada: Saturday 14 December
China: Monday 9 December
France: Wednesday 18 December
Germany: Monday 16 December
India: Monday 9 December
Ireland: Wednesday 18 December
Italy: Saturday 14 December
Mexico: Monday 9 December
Russia: Wednesday 11 December
South Africa: Monday 9 December
Turkey: Thursday 12 December
USA: Saturday 14 December
How can I send a letter to Father Christmas?
Royal Mail will send your letter to St Nick for free. If you’re hoping for a reply, send your letter by Friday 6 December to:
Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ
Don’t forget to include your full name and address to ensure his reply reaches you.
Will I be affected by proposed Royal Mail strike action?
Royal Mail staff recently voted to embark on industrial action over the issues of pay, pensions and a reduction in working hours.
The dates of the strikes are yet to be announced, but there are concerns that industrial action may affect either the Black Friday sales period or the Christmas post.
Royal Mail bosses are seeking an injunction to block a planned strike by postal workers, claiming there are “potential irregularities in the ballot” making the vote unlawful.
We recommend checking the Royal Mail website for further updates, although the possibility of major postal delays at one of the busiest times of the year could be a welcome prompt to get organised well ahead of time.