A Handy Guide To UK Postage Dates Over The 2012 Christmas Holiday Season

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Christmas is just around the corner and pretty soon we’ll all have that familiar feeling of being rushed off our feet as we try to juggle buying presents, decorating the house and buying food with seeing friends and family. Christmas is an enjoyable, exciting time of year – but it’s a lot of hard work too!
While I usually feel like I’ve got Christmas under control, the one thing that really seems to get me worked up is sending cards and presents. What’s difficult about that, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not buying the gifts or writing the cards that bothers me – it’s sending them. It seems like every year, no matter how hard I try to get the better of the Christmas postal system, the things I send are always late.

Last year my sister didn’t get her present until mid-January – and don’t even get me started on the card and letter I sent to one of my friends in the US. So how can you ensure your letters, cards and presents reach their recipient at least somewhere around Christmas Day?

Cutoff dates
Well, the important thing is to leave plenty of time for delivery. The dates the Royal Mail recommends you should send items by are:
December 13th (standard mail and mail order return items)
December 18th (second class and recorded signed for items)
December 20th (first class and recorded signed for items)
This means you’ve got to be organised and get everything wrapped up well in advance. If you’re going to leave anything until the last minute – don’t let it be your mail. I’d suggest buying cards early on and getting them written by the end of November, even if this feels like it’s way too early. It means you’ll get them out of the way when you have less to do and simply need to drop them off at the Post Office or put them in the letter box one morning on your way to work.

2012 Christmas Holiday Season

If you’ve got any gifts you want to send via special delivery you can buy yourself a little more time, as you’ve got until December 21st to send these, according to the Royal Mail recommendations. It’s a different story if you’ve got any international mail however, and you want to send this right at the beginning of December. Yes, there’s a chance it’ll mean your loved ones receive their Christmas presents a couple of weeks early – but that’s much better than them arriving a couple of weeks late.

Days without any delivery
Remember, there won’t be any deliveries on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, so don’t expect your family to have a gift dropping through their letter box on Christmas morning.

To give your mail a helping hand on its journey, make sure you address it properly. Obviously this is something you should be doing anyway, but it’s extra important over Christmas when the volume of mail increases. Make sure the address is written clearly, with the postcode in bold, clear capital letters. Don’t forget to add the return address on the back just in case there’s a problem.

This isn’t much to remember and by getting your post sent off early, you can chill out knowing you’ve got one less thing to worry about over the festive season.

Image is licensed under CC Attribution
Jane Wooley
About the Author:

This guest blog was contributed by Jane Wooley a freelance writer who blogs on a broad range of subjects including where to find the best quality parcel delivery over the festive season.

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