The holiday season is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about sending gifts to your loved ones who may be stationed away from home or overseas. For those who haven’t purchased gifts yet, the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) has some great deals on items to fit every taste and budget. 

Make sure to get your holiday shopping done as early as possible. You’ll want to leave ample time for shipping to make sure your service member receives their gift in time for the holidays. To ensure timely delivery of holiday gifts by Dec. 25, the Postal Service recommends that cards and packages be sent to APO/FPO/DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.

Military Mail Addressed To and From

Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS)1 First Class Mail Letters and Cards Priority Mail Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL)2 Space Available Mail (SAM)3 USPS Retail Ground
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092 Dec-16 Dec-9 Dec-9 Dec-2 Nov-25 Nov-7
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP   093 N/A Dec-2 Dec-2 Dec-2 Nov-25 Nov-7
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-098 Dec-16 Dec-9 Dec-9 Dec-2 Nov-25 Nov-7
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP   340 Dec-16 Dec-9 Dec-9 Dec-2 Nov-25 Nov-7
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs  962-966 Dec-16 Dec-9 Dec-9 Dec-2 Nov-25 Nov-7
1. PMEMS is available to selected military/diplomatic Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.
2. PAL is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. PAL is available for Standard Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface price for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
3. SAM parcels are paid at Standard Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

Domestic Mailing Deadlines are as follows:

USPS Retail Ground  First-Class Mail Priority Mail  Priority Mail Express
Dec-15 Dec-20 Dec-21 Dec-23

The Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains Priority Mail APO/FPO/DPO flat rate boxes, tape, address labels and appropriate customs forms.

For more information on mailing and shipping deadlines and instructions for properly addressing packages destined for APO/FPO/DPO mailboxes, click here.

Are your loved ones closer to home this year? Use that extra time to shop at the MCX! They add new deals everyday so be sure to stop by frequently to get the best prices. Found it cheaper elsewhere? The MCX will price match the final sale price of identical items, in new condition, in retail packaging, available to purchase at any domestic retail store operating within a U.S. state (store or online), online auction or marketplace sites excluded. For more information on the MCX’s price match policy click here.