Last Christmas post dates 2022: Royal Mail and Parcelforce deadlines for UK and International deliveries

Here's how to make sure your gifts arrive in time for Christmas!

Christmas cards being put in a post box with snow on top
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's important to know these last Christmas post dates for 2022, with strike action and deadlines affecting when cards and presents could arrive.

Whilst Father Christmas takes care of those presents delivered on the big day itself, it's the Royal Mail and other delivery services like Parcelforce which people are relying on to get their gifts and cards to distant loved ones in time for Christmas.

Royal Mail strikes (opens in new tab) are certainly a source of anxiety amidst the annual December parcel rush, but the company have shared their last Christmas post dates which should see your presents arrive before the 25th. Whilst the Letters to Santa (opens in new tab) deadline has now passed, you'll be pleased to know that the cut-off date for first class stamp (opens in new tab) and special deliveries are still available to take advantage of. Check out the dates and make a note to get to your local Post Office before it's too late.

Last Christmas post dates for 2022

Royal Mail have confirmed that the very last post date for sending something this Christmas is December 21, via their Special Delivery Guaranteed service. The Second class delivery cut off date is December 12, whilst those sending items First class have until December 16.

As for anything posted after these dates, Royal Mail cannot guarantee that these will arrive in time for Christmas. Post collection times can vary, so if you want to find out exactly when the last post collection is near you, you can use Royal Mail's branch finder (opens in new tab).

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Last Christmas posting dates UK

  • Monday 12 December: 2nd class, 2nd class signed for, Royal Mail 48
  • Friday 16 December: 1st class, 1st class signed for, Royal Mail 24, Royal Mail Tracked 48
  • Monday 19 December: Royal Mail Tracked 24
  • Wednesday 21 December: Special Delivery Guaranteed

International post dates 2022

A lot of the international last Christmas post dates have already passed, but if you are still hoping to send a package from the UK in time then Parcelforce Worldwide: International (opens in new tab) is operating the following services with these cut-off dates:

  • Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Denmark - globalpriority: Monday 12 December or globalexpress: Monday 19 December
  • Europe (unless otherwise listed) - globalexpress: Wednesday 14 December
  • Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece - globalexpress: Friday 16 December
  • USA, Canada - globalexpress: Monday 19 December
  • Northern Ireland to Republic of Ireland - irelandexpress: Monday 19 December

Parcelforce's globalexpress service (opens in new tab) starts from £43.50. The fully tracked delivery service usually promises next working day delivery  to USA, Canada and Europe, and from 2 working days for the rest of the world.

You can arrange for Parcelforce to collect the parcel from you, or drop it off at your local Post Office branch or depot.

HM Forces mail (BFPO) - last Christmas posting dates 2022

Sadly for those wishing to send UK to Operational/Static BFPOs and for BFPO to BFPO addresses, the deadline has already passed. According to the government website (opens in new tab) the cut-off date was December 2, 2022.

As for those sending airmail and surface mail from BFPO to UK addresses, you have until December 19 for Second class deliveries and December 21 for First class deliveries.

A woman signing for a parcel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What to do if you miss the last post date before Christmas:

If you're worrying that you might not make the cut-off in time you could consider Parcelforce Worldwide's UK express delivery service via Royal Mail. Their express48 service deadline day is December 21 with their express10, expressAM and express24 service cut-off dates being December 22.

This service will set you back a little more money though, with Parcelforce Worldwide express48 starting from £8.85 and express24 starting from £9.35. Please also note that express48large is only available at certain Post Office branches. Find more details about prices and the service via the Parcelforce website (opens in new tab).

Helpful information

If you don't know the postcodes of your nearest and dearest, then don't worry - Royal Mail has a handy postcode checker (opens in new tab) online. All you need to do is type in the first line of an address and it'll generate a postcode for you.

And finally to find out your nearest Post Office branch and its opening hours, visit postoffice.co.uk (opens in new tab).

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.