Sending gifts this holiday season? You'll need to do it before these dates.

I know I don't have to remind you of this, but Christmas is less than three weeks away. Did you heart just skip a beat? Mine stopped beating completely and I can feel my face starting to flush a bit. Needless to say I have not started Christmas shopping.

I think sometimes I underestimate how quickly things can be shipped to other places.

Do you struggle with this? Well, I'm here to help. Let me start by saying that there are a lot of packages that will be making their way through the delivery system between now and New Year's Eve. Millions of packages, that is. In order to make sure yours isn't late, take note of the deadlines below.

United States Postal Service: If you're using retail ground shipping, you will need to have those packages in by Friday, December 14. For Priority Mail and Express your shipping deadline is Saturday, December 22.

FedEx: If you're using Ground shipping, the deadline is Friday, December 14. For Overnight shipping, packages need to be in by Friday, December 21.

UPS: For Ground shipping, packages will need to be in by Friday, December 14. If you're using Next Day Air shipping, the deadline is Saturday, December 22.

Of course the longer you wait, the more money you will spend to get those items there on time. A good rule of thumb is to get those in sooner rather than later. Or just be honest with people and tell them that you're trying to extend the holiday season a few more days.

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