Now Thanksgiving is done, thoughts are turning to shopping and holiday gift shipping.
The U.S. Postal Service is happy to assist customers by providing suggested holiday mailing dates specific to Hawaii.
Below are dates the USPS suggests Hawaii residents mail their letters, cards and packages to give them the best chances of reaching their destinations by Christmas. (Note the dates apply to mail received by each Post Office’s daily cutoff time.)
Suggested mailing dates are Dec. 6 for first-class and Priority mail headed to international and overseas military destinations, and Dec. 15 for First-Class and Priority mail headed to the mainland. Procrastinators have until Dec. 21 to send their holiday cheer to the mainland via Priority Express shipping.
|First-Class & Priority Mail||Priority Express Mail|
|From Hawaii to . . .|
|U.S. Mainland||Dec 15||Dec 21|
|Hawaii||Dec 19||Dec 21|
|Guam & Saipan||Dec 11||Dec 18|
|American Samoa||Dec 4||Dec 14|
|Military APOs & FPOs||Dec 4||Dec 14|
|International||Dec 4||Dec 14|
Dates apply to mail received by each Post Office’s cutoff time.
Postal customers are asked to keep in mind that the above suggested mailing dates are not deadlines, implying that packages or letters will not arrive at their destinations if mailed after the listed dates. In fact, if normal holiday conditions prevail, chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas. Ultimately, unpredictable factors such as mailing volumes and weather determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time.
Self Service Ship & Mail Centers
In addition, self-service ship and mail centers are convenient postal kiosks that allow customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for postage for packages, and conduct other common transactions without the need to stand in line to see a mail clerk. Perhaps most important, customers can access these machines 24/7.
USPS Self Service Ship & Mail Centers are located in Hawaii at the 16 locations below:
- Aina Haina Post Office
- Downtown Honolulu Post Office
- Hawaii Kai Post Office
- Hilo Main Post Office
- Honolulu Main/Airport Post Office – 2 kiosks
- Kailua Post Office
- Kailua-Kona Post Office
- Kaneohe Post Office
- Kapahulu Safeway supermarket
- Kihei Post Office
- Lahaina Post Office
- Makiki Post Office
- Mililani Post Office
- Waialae-Kahala Post Office
- Waikiki Post Office
- Wailuku Post Office
Here are some time- and money-saving tips to help make the holidays a little brighter:
- Save $$$ with FLAT RATE BOXES: Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are the best deal around. Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for only $15.05 An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50 percent more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $21.10. And, to support military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to most APO and FPO locations for only $19.60.
- Save time; Use USPS.com: Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at USPS.com. After printing out the mailing labels for your packages at USPS.com, go to usps.com/pickup to let the USPS know that they’re ready to be picked up. Your carrier will be alerted and will pick up your packages from your home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service. You can also drop off your prepaid packages at a Post Office without waiting in line.
- FREE insurance: All Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes now include day-specific delivery, improved tracking and FREE insurance.
- FREE packaging: Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes are available for FREE at your local Post Office.
- Express Mail on Christmas Day: The Postal Service delivers Express Mail on Christmas Day in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Ask your local postal clerk to determine whether this option is available for your holiday packages.
USPS Operation Santa
And for the first time ever, keiki from across Hawaii will be able to participate in the USPS Operation Santa letter writing program.
- The program allows volunteers to “adopt” letters and fulfill Christmas wishes by sending gifts in Santa’s place.
- To participate in the program, all keiki need to do is write a letter to Santa, put it in a stamped envelope with a return address & send it to the USPS Operation Santa address: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888
- Letters writers must stamp and address their letters correctly and include a return address. They should list specific wishes—including sizes, styles, colors, titles & names
- Letters will be accepted from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15. Letters will be available for adoption beginning Dec. 4.
- Hawaii residents are encouraged to go online and adopt a letter to help a child have a happy holiday. Letters can be filtered by state.
- Details on how to adopt a Santa letter and a history of the program are available at USPSOperationSanta.com.