Military Holiday mailing deadlines are here
If you’ve got family in the military or diplomatic corps overseas, you’re almost out of time to send their Christmas packages.
But Wednesday is the last day you can send cards, letters and Priority Mail packages to military addresses and still have them arrive by Christmas.
If there’s just no way you can make the Dec. 11th deadline, you’ve got one more chance. You have until next Wednesday, Dec. 18th, to send Priority Mail Express packages.
The U.S Postal Service recommends you follow these tips when preparing your packages:
- Use good strong boxes and good strong packing tape. No duct tape or masking tape. No string or wire. No shoe-boxes.
- Don’t use boxes from a liquor store. Boxes that indicate there is alcohol inside cannot be mailed.
- Don’t ship anything with a lithium battery.
- Always include a return address on the parcel and include destination/return address on a card inside the parcel, in case the address on the parcel is rendered unreadable.
- Never use holiday wrapping paper around your parcel. Wrapping paper is very thin and isn’t suitable in the high-speed sorting machines.
When it comes to addressing your cards, letters, and packages:
- Write the service member’s full name
- Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned). For example:
Army/Air Post Office (APO)
PFC JANE DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021
Fleet Post Office (FPO)
SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
UNIT 100100 BOX 4120
FPO AP 96691
Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)
UNIT 8400 BOX 0000
DPO AE 09498-0048
- Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address
- Include a return address
- Include the service member’s name and address and the sender’s name and address on an index card inside the box, in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit
There are additional guidelines here.
The Post Office has a free Military Care Kit with the things military families request most often. It includes labels, tape, boxes and U.S. Customs forms.