Mark your calendars: A list of shipping deadlines for the holiday shopper

I wish everyone I sent Christmas presents to celebrated Boxing Day or Kwanzaa instead. That's because most of the time my presents truly do arrive a day too late, on December 26.

But now deadlines keep rolling in on when packages need to be mailed in order to get to their destinations on time. The latest one is the U.S. Postal Services deadline for mailing packages to troops overseas, which is Thursday, Nov. 13.

For shipments to folks in the U.S., the deadlines are a little bit more in the future. That helps me, because I usually I go online to order in mid-December, see that the standard delivery deadline has passed, then have to spend more bucks for the expedited or fastest delivery route. And you know how it is with the Postal Service -- two-day delivery service means jack during the holidays.

Procrastinating shoppers like me have no excuse this year for shipping late. Dealhack has released a list of 130 Internet retailers and their online-purchase shipping deadlines, from Amazon to Wine.com. Each retailer has announced their Standard delivery service deadline, and Dealhack has guesstimated the Expedited and Fastest order-by dates.

Santas, Santas Everywhere

    Clement Rozier dressed as Santa Claus skis down the slopes with telemark skis in the alpine ski resort of Verbier on December 17, 2007.

    Photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND)

    Wearing the Santa Claus bonnets and dressed in bathing costumes runners, start their sponsorship event at an open-air ice stadium of downtown Budapest. The local participants collected money to help Hungarian sportmen and sportswomen for the next Paralympics Games.

    Photo credit: GERGELYBOTAR/AFP/Getty Images

    A man dressed as Santa Claus frolics with others in the sea during the 63rd Christmas bathe in Nice, France. 250 swimmers took part, swimming in water that was 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Photo credit: AP/Lionel Cironneau)

    An ambassador for the group G.R.I.N. (Golden Retrievers In Need), Otis greets visitors to the Crown Classic Dog Show dressed as Santa Claus on December 15, 2007 in Cleveland. G.R.I.N. is a northeast Ohio group which rescues and finds homes for Golden Retrievers.

    Photo credit: AP/Amy Sancetta)

    Portuguese people dressed as Santa Claus attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the largest number of parading Santas, Sunday Dec. 16, 2007 in Porto, Portugal. The organization expected more than 16,000 participants.

    Photo credit: AP/Paulo Duarte)

    Noel Quilatan, a traffic enforcer dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, directs traffic along an intersection in Taguig City in metro Manila on December 18, 2007.

    Photo credit: REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)

    Dressed in Santa Claus outfits, a diver waves to children at an Aquarium in Busan, South Korea. Christmas is one of the biggest holidays to celebrate in South Korea. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Cho Jung-ho)

    Amusement park employees dressed as Santa Claus ride a roller coaster during a promotional event to coincide with the Christmas holiday at the Everland amusement park in Yongin, South Korea.

    Photo credit: AP/Lee Jin-man)

    Bob Evans, dressed as a traditional Santa Claus at the 2003 Maryland Christmas Show in Frederick, MD. Santa Claus should set up shop in Kyrgyzstan to optimize the delivery of Christmas gifts to 2.5 billion homes worldwide all in one night according to Swedish engineering consulting firm SWECO, which calculated Santa's optimal journey based on a range of factors from the Earth's rotation to which areas of the planet are most densely populated.

    Photo credit: AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

    Local street dancers, wearing Santa Claus dresses dance on Budapest's Vorosmarty square during a celebration marking St. Nicholas' Day, December 6, 2007.

    Photo credit: BALINT PORNECZI/AFP/Getty Images



The standard delivery dates are spread throughout mid-December, although computer makers err on the early side (Dell's deadline is December 9, while Lenovo's is December 2) and office goods companies creep close to Christmas Day (Office Depot and Staples promises December 23 is just fine for standard shipping).

On a side note: Shop.org, a unit of the National Retail Federation, announced that while many online retailers plan to offer free shipping, 21% of the ones they surveyed said they would raise the minimum purchase requirement this year.

But with all the forecasts of this being the slowest holiday-shopping season in years, maybe the line at the post office won't be so long, and I can wait a few days to mull my purchase over before I click "Send."

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