Countdown to Christmas begins - mark these international mailing dates on your calendar

28 October 2011

Two of the surest signs that a year is nearing its end are (1) when Christmas decorations start appearing in the shops - and (2) when New Zealand Post reminds you about international mailing deadlines for Christmas gifts.

Yes, Santa Claus may be able to promise free overnight delivery worldwide on Christmas morning, but a chronic shortage of flying reindeer in the real world means it pays to plan ahead if you want your gifts to reach friends or family overseas by Christmas day.

Which means you may want to circle the dates below on your calendar, programme them into your smartphone, or have them tattooed on the inside of your eyelids - whatever it takes to remind you send your Christmas gifts on time.

The final international mailing dates to ensure delivery by Christmas 2011 are as follows:

International service Send by
  Zone A
Zone B
(South Pacific),
Zone C

(East Asia and North America),
Zone D
(UK and Europe)
Zone E
(Rest of the world)
International Economy Fri 2 December Fri 25 November Mon 21 November
International Air Fri 9 December Fri 2 December Mon 28 November
International Economy Courier Wed 14 December Fri 9 December N/A
International Express Courier Fri 16 December Wed 14 December Mon 12 December

As always, it pays to mail before those final deadlines, and New Zealand Post recommends this approach to ensure a less stressful Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus for our customers, spokesman Michael Tull said.