Now that the calendar says December, Iowans will start autographing their holiday letters and getting packages ready to mail to far-away friends and family.

Nicole Hill, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service, says Iowans will need to remember a couple of key deadlines.

“So, we’re looking at December 18th, send your greeting cards, send your Christmas cards out to your loved ones,” Hill says. “Get those in the mail. Make sure they have the right postage, make sure that the addresses are legible.”

For Iowans who want to send a package Priority Mail, the deadline is just one day later if you want that gift to arrive before the 25th.

“December 19th is when we’re looking at that Priority Mail service,” she says. “So, if you’re sending a Priority Mail flat rate to a loved one somewhere else, make sure that you’re Priority Mail package is in the mail stream by December 19th.”

Hill says if you’re sending something via Express Mail, it has to go out by December 23rd at the latest. For more information about packaging or postage, visit