Chances are you’re planning on sending a few gifts or cards in the post this Christmas for friends and family members living abroad. But how can you make sure all the goodies will get to your loved ones in time for the holidays? These are the posting deadlines in the Netherlands this Christmas.

Dutch Christmas posting dates 2021

Various delivery companies in the Netherlands are once again expecting a busy festive season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With people posting packages and Christmas cards and doing the bulk of their shopping online, you really want to make sure you get everything done in time for it to arrive before Christmas day.

PostNL

If you’re looking to send something to someone living in the Netherlands, then make sure to get your package dropped off at a PostNL point by December 23 at the very latest – this means it should be delivered on Christmas Eve, as PostNL tries to deliver domestic parcels by the next weekday. But, annoyingly, PostNL doesn’t offer any hard deadlines so, to be safe, it’s probably best to send your package by December 21.

If you’re sending letters or Christmas cards to a Dutch address this month, PostNL warns that it could take up to six days for them to be delivered, so be sure to drop them off at one of the many orange PostNL letterboxes across the country before December 18.

As for international post, estimated delivery times depend on the final destination. For most European countries, you can expect your letter or package to arrive within seven working days, but there are several delays across Europe so probably best to send everything by December 10. PostNL also advises sending international mail via the letterboxes found at their delivery points – where you can also pick up free priority stamps – so it will be delivered quicker.

DHL

Unlike PostNL, DHL is a little clearer about their delivery deadlines in the Netherlands and across Europe. For international packages, the delivery time once again depends on the destination, but to be sure your package arrives on time, try to drop it off before December 15.

For domestic deliveries, DHL has arranged additional delivery days on all Sundays up until Christmas day. They try to deliver packages within 24 hours, but warn that there are delays because of COVID-19 and the busy festive period, so err on the side of caution and drop off your package by December 21.

UPS

Within the Netherlands, UPS says all packages dropped off on or before December 21 will be delivered by Christmas Eve at the very latest. If you’re sending something within Europe, sending it by December 18 should guarantee that it arrives on time for Christmas (but the delivery time does once again on where you’re sending it to). Shipping outside of Europe takes a little longer, so drop your package off with UPS by December 17 at the latest if you want it to make it to your loved ones in time for the holidays. 

On the UPS website, you can check the expected price delivery time for your package by inserting your location and the intended destination.

Better safe than sorry

There’s so much to do before the holidays arrive, and trying to ensure your friends and family around the world get their cards and gifts in time for Christmas can be pretty stressful. Delivery companies haven’t guaranteed that dropping off packages or posting cards by a specific date ensures they’ll be delivered on time, so if you’re worried about delivery delays, it’s probably best to try and post your items by December 10, regardless of the end destination. 

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