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2022 Holiday Mail Best Practices

Plan Ahead for Holiday Deliveries

Last year was a challenge for those sending holiday gifts and cards.  Things haven't changed a lot in the past 12 months, but we do know how to plan better for the delays. Luckily for some, the Christmas holiday, which lands on a Sunday this year, will allow you a little additional flexibility to ensure gifts arrive on time. Hanukkah also falls at the end of December so expect additional package deliveries towards the end of the month. Here is our annual report and the list of crucial dates to ensure your items arrive on time.

Cards and Annual Appeals

The US Postal Service began slowing mail delivery in mid-2021 and while paces have increased they are still slower than pre-2020. Extra planning on your part will be necessary, particularly if your organization is ending the year with a fund drive by mail. Here are the top 3 things you need to be aware of before sending your year-end mailings.


Not all classes of mail are treated equally. This is particularly important if your message is time-sensitive and needs to be delivered by a specific date. Marketing Mail (aka - Standard, Bulk, or NonProfit) is the last class in line to be handled. During high volume times of the year, this mail class can also be shipped to less busy mail processors, or put in a corner and left for later. See the chart below for more details on USPS Classes.


We know that a hand-addressed and stamped letter gives your mail that personal touch. But if you are sending more than 200 letters you will save time and money by letting us print the addresses and presort the mail. This is a little like getting a head start in the mailing game. Instead of your letters running through the scanners with everything picked up at the retail locations, your mail will bypass that step and enter the mail stream ready to go. We also don't have to skip the stamp.  Those can be used on direct mail too!

3. KEEP IT SIMPLE  Woman's Hand writing holiday card

Typically we would tell you to get creative, but for this time of year sticking with standard sizes and materials will help you and your mail carrier out. You can be creative and play within the rules by creating interest in your message, printing techniques, or using Informed Delivery along with your mailer.

Let us know if you need any help with your mailing ideas or examples.  We love to talk about new projects. 

Once you've chosen your mailing method, determine what date you would like your letter to arrive and count backward. At AlphaGraphics Kansas City, we recommend that Christmas Cards enter the mail stream no later than December 14th to ensure delivery before December 25th. We've listed other key dates at the end of this blog for other winter holidays.


First Class Mail: December 14th
Standard Ground Packages: December 17th
Priority Service (2-3 days depending on carrier): December 19th
Overnight Service: December 23rd

REMEMBER! These are estimated dates and don't account for additional delays created by weather, illness, staffing, or other unforeseen issues. Due to the high volumes, most shippers who have guaranteed delivery are not honoring those guarantees. So even if you plan for a next-day delivery there is no promise that it will happen.

Other Holidays to Note

Thanksgiving - November 24th, Mail cards by November 18th
Hanukkah - December 19th, Mail cards by December 9th
Kwanzaa - December 26th, Mail cards by December 20th
New Year's Eve - December 31st, Mail cards by December 27th

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