Postal Service gives dates, suggestions for holiday shipping

The U.S. Postal Service announced suggested dates for first-class and priority and priority-express mail to reach their destination in time for Christmas – with the first one for military and international packages and mail Monday.

The dates follow by destination, first-class and priority and priority-express:

* International, Monday and Dec. 16.

* Military APO and FPO, Monday and Dec. 16.

* American Samoa, Dec. 12 and 19.

* Guam and Saipan, Dec. 13 and 20.

* U.S. Mainland, Dec. 18 and 19.

* Hawaii, Dec. 20 and 23.

The Postal Service emphasized that the dates are not deadlines and that mail sent shortly after the listed dates may still make their destinations in time for Christmas.

Postal carriers in Honolulu from Salt Lake to Hawaii Kai will be delivering parcels Dec. 15 and 22. Unlike previous years, there will be no extended retail hours at any Hawaii post office.

There are self-ship and mail centers at Kihei, Lahaina and Wailuku post offices. The kiosks allow customers to purchase stamps and send and pay for postage for packages 24/7.

Other mailing tips:

* Use flat-rate boxes to save money.

* Pay for postage and print out mailing labels at and save up to 15 percent off over-the-counter rates.

* Free package pickup for those who have printed mailing labels online. Go to and the carrier in the area will be alerted to pick up packages for home or office, usually the next day.

* The Postal Service delivers express mail on Christmas Day in major U.S. metropolitan areas.

The Postal Service expects to process and deliver 15 billion pieces of mail and 420 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas.