Five tips from Canada Post to ensure your holiday packages arrive on time

Follow these steps to ensure your precious parcels and Christmas cards arrive on time

letter to Santa Claus, mail

Courtesy of Canada Post

Worried that your Christmas cards or presents might not arrive on time or worse, get lost in the mail? This year, take the stress out of mailing and follow these top tips from Canada Post to ensure a speedy and in-tact delivery.

1. Incomplete address

Check to make sure you have the full address, and that it’s correct, printed clearly and located on the largest side of your package. And don’t forget the postal code!

2. Incorrect postage

Postage rates depend on the size and weight of a parcel, and destination. You can use the Canada Post mobile app or visit to check rates or visit your local post office and have a customer service agent help.

3. Mailing deadlines

Keep these deadlines in mind to ensure your packages will arive on time:

In Canada: For cards, send locally by Dec. 19; within province by Dec. 18; out of province by Dec. 17; send parcels by Dec. 10.

To the US: Send letters and cards by Dec. 14; parcels by Dec. 10.

International shipping: Deadlines vary depending on the region, but as a rule, allow three weeks for cards and four weeks for parcels, for the most cost-efficient options.

But if you miss a deadline don’t panic! Premium services offer shorter delivery times worldwide.

4. Packaging

Although wrapping paper looks great on gifts, it’s not always ideal for handling and can rip. It’s best to use brown paper packaging or cardboard boxes — but make sure the boxes are designed for shipping, since retailer gift boxes are often too flimsy. Shipping boxes are available for purchase at the post office, and if you choose to reuse boxes make sure you remove any old bar codes that might interfere with scanning.

Do not wrap parcels in string or twine! Any decorative attachments can get caught in processing machines. Use packing tape rather than household adhesive tape which often peels off. Lastly, if you’re sending fragile or loose items, make sure to cushion with styrofoam, bubble wrap or eco-friendly cardboard chips.

5. Santa’s letters!

Did you know that Santa has a special address at the North Pole? For the past 31 years, he’s had thousands of volunteer postal elves help answer every letter. Last year, he received 1,301,300 letters in many different languages including braille!

Have your wee ones write Santa a letter and make sure to include a return mailing address:

Santa Claus
North Pole
H0H 0H0

Canada post elf writing Santa letters

Courtesy of Canada Post

Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered a couple of times a week.