Christmas delivery deadline looming
Christmas is just around the corner - and with it usually comes a frenzy of last-minute card writing and present buying.
But if you want to make sure your loved ones get their cards and gifts before the big day rolls around, a bit of planning is essential.
This Christmas, Australia Post will deliver more than two million items every single day during the busiest week.
So it makes sense that Australia Post's group chief operating officer Bob Black's biggest piece of advice this year is to get in early.
He also revealed the delivery cut-off dates no Aussie can afford to miss.
"If you're sending within Australia using regular mail, post your Christmas gifts before Monday, December 17, but if you've got a last minute gift, you can send your presents through our Express Post network as we will be delivering right up to Christmas Eve," Mr Black said.
"The absolute latest you can send your parcel through our Express Post network for guaranteed next day delivery, which covers over nine million addresses, is Friday, December 21 - but check your address is covered first.
"If you have loved ones overseas, we work with a host of international mail carriers to make international sending easy. To check the different delivery options and prices, talk to us in store or visit our website."
Mr Black said Australia Post employees would be "working around the clock" to make this Christmas a success, with extended trading hours and weekend deliveries taking place right up to December 25.
He also shared some important tips to make sure your packages arrive in one piece as well as on time.
"When sending your gifts, make sure you use enough padding, that your recipient's address is bold and clear, and you have included your return details," Mr Black said.
"If you're posting something valuable, customers can choose to have their items sent with Signature On Delivery or take out insurance from $2.
"For customers on the move this Christmas, you can sign up for free to MyPost Deliveries and have parcels sent to a 24/7 Parcel Locker or a post office that's more convenient for you.
"We are here to help, so if you're not sure how to best send your gifts, please talk to our team in-store and take a look at our range of mailing boxes, mailing tubes and satchels."
Mr Black also warned Aussie kids that time was running out to send their letters to Santa Claus.
"If you have loved ones writing to Santa, make sure to write your name and address on the back of the envelope and send your completed letters to Santa, North Pole, 9999," he said.
"So Santa can reply before the big day, we ask families to lodge their letters before Friday, December 14."
Delivery company CouriersPlease spokeswoman Jessica Ip also shared her tips for on-time Christmas delivery.
"In the days leading up to Christmas, the majority of retailers won't ship items past the second week in December for a Christmas delivery," Ms Ip said.
"CP has different cut-off dates between metro and regional cities across the country, which is similar to other parcel delivery companies.
"The cut-off date for CP deliveries in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is between December 19-20, while Western Australia has earlier dates between December 7-10.
"If you don't pay attention to these crucial dates, your orders may not arrive in time for the big day."
Ms Ip said the most common mistakes leading to late Christmas deliveries include not taking advantage of flexible delivery options, not taking extra care in wrapping, underestimating delivery times, being sloppy with delivery details, shopping at the last minute and waiting for last-minute sales which may not happen.