Christmas 2014: last postal delivery deadlines
It's not even December and we're already being bombarded with Christmas adverts and music. Yet there's one element to Christmas that we should all embrace early - Royal Mail's all-important final postal delivery dates.
So if you want to ensure that Aunty Sue gets her Christmas card in time, make sure you note the dates listed below.
Royal Mail says it has recruited around 19,000 temporary seasonal workers to sort the Christmas post, which will be delivered by around 124,000 postmen and women.
It has also launched five Christmas stamp designs this year, featuring "festive family traditions from carol singing and buying the tree to posting cards and building a snowman". The stamps are available individually or as a collection.
Here's some other fun Christmas facts from Royal Mail for you:
- The tradition of sending Christmas cards was established in the UK in 1843 and just 1,000 of them were produced.
- Post boxes were first trialled in the UK in 1852 and were green in colour. After complaints that they blended into the landscape and could not be seen, they were painted red in 1874.
- The robin has an association with Royal Mail going back to Victorian times when postmen were nicknamed ‘Robin Redbreasts' after the red waistcoats they wore.
- Royal Mail first produced Special Stamps for Christmas in 1966 when they ran a competition on BBC's Blue Peter giving children the opportunity to design the stamps.
You can find everything else you need to know, including getting the postage right and how to send items abroad by visiting: royalmail.com/greetings.
Thursday 18 December: 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For
Saturday 20 December: 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For
Tuesday 23 December: Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed
Wednesday 3 December: Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Thursday 4 December: Australia
Friday 5 December: Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America, Middle East
Monday 8 December: Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece
Tuesday 9 December: Canada, Poland
Friday 12 December: USA
Saturday 13 December: Western Europe (excluding Greece, Poland)
HM Forces mail
Friday 28 November: Airmail to Operational British Forces Post Office
Friday 12 December: Airmail to Static British Forces Post Office
Royal Mail deliveries
If you are wondering about which days you'll be visited by a postman or postwoman during the festive season, it's worth noting there will be normal deliveries on all days except: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Sunday 28 December, and Thursday 1 January 2015.