For those sending Christmas cards and gifts to military personnel stationed overseas, the deadlines for on-time delivery start on Friday, December 2.

Kathy Shappee with the Shipping Depot in Missoula says international shipping deadlines are already upon us.

"If we're going to go to a military address, the deadlines are December 2nd if we're going to APO/FDO zip code of 093," Shappee said. "The rest of the APO/FDO zip codes are December 9th. For first class mail and cards internationally, you want to have those done in the first week in December. For other countries, the post office has really improved their time in transit over the past couple of years. We're looking at December 8th going into Africa, and then the rest of the world is pretty much is from the 10th to the 15th."

Domestically, Shappee said having Christmas fall on a Sunday is fortunate for shippers.

"Now we have the whole week before Christmas for transit time," she said. "Anywhere in the country, if you want to send it ground, have it in the system by the 14th which is a Wednesday, you ought to be in great shape. For the northwest and the west coast, you can have it in the mail by the 20th and it ought to make it there fine."

Shappee said winter weather delays are always possible, so ship and mail for Christmas as early as possible to ensure delivery before December 25.

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