Postal Service releases Hawai‘i-specific holiday mailing dates
The Postal Service has released a list of suggested holiday mailing dates specific to Hawai‘i.
The Postal Service’s suggested mailing dates are Dec. 16 for First-Class and Priority mail headed to the mainland. Procrastinators have until Dec. 20 to send their holiday cheer to the mainland via its expedited Priority Express shipping service.
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.
No Holiday Surcharges
The Postal Service is providing its customers with an early Christmas gift this year: No holiday shipping surcharges! In past years, USPS followed industry standards and temporarily adjusted its prices for the holidays. For most packages the temporary surcharge was between 25 and 75 cents. USPS eliminated the surcharge in order to provide its customers with the most affordable way to ship their gifts this holiday season.
Self-Service Ship & Mail Centers
These convenient postal kiosks 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–an all-too-frequent necessity during holiday mailing season. Perhaps most important, for all locations except for Mililani and Waipahu customers can access the Self-Service Ship & Mail Centers24/7, at times that are convenient to them. USPS Self Service Ship & Mail Centers are located in Hawaii at the 16 locations below:
- Aina Haina Post Office
- Downtown Honolulu Post Office
- Hawaiʻi Kai Post Office
- Hilo Main Post Office
- Honolulu Main/Airport Post Office – 2 kiosks
- Kailua Post Office
- Kailua-Kona Post Office
- Kāneʻohe Post Office
- Kīhei Post Office
- Lahaina Post Office
- Makiki Post Office
- Mililani Post Office (accessible 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
- Waialae-Kahala Post Office
- Waikīkī Post Office
- Wailuku Post Office
- Waipahu Post Office (accessible 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
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 $17.10 An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50 percent more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $22.80. And, to support our 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 $21.20.
- 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, notify us at usps.com/pickup 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 envelopes and boxes and Priority Express envelopes 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
Keiki from across Hawaii are encouraged to participate in the USPS Operation Santa wish fulfillment 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 must be postmarked by Dec. 11. Letters are available for adoption beginning Nov. 20 and through Dec. 18.
- 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. Last year 31 Hawaii children had their wishes granted through this program.
- Details on how to adopt a Santa letter and a history of the program are available at USPSOperationSanta.com
The peak of the holiday shipping rush begins two weeks before Christmas. We expect customer traffic at our post offices to accelerate beginning the week of Dec. 11, and that the week of Dec. 18 will be our busiest week of the season.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.