Christmas post 2022: Royal Mail releases last dates to send presents and cards

Christmas post 2022 dates
The Royal Mail has released its recommended Christmas last post dates for 2022. (Getty Images)

Post offices are urging people planning to post Christmas cards and presents this year to send them early.

Earlier this week Mariah Carey announced the start of the yuletide period, shops are already stocked with festive food and beauty advert calendars are flying off the shelves.

There's no doubt Christmas is coming early this year, but it seems we're also being advised to get prepped for sending our seasonal greetings by the bods in the know at the post office.

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For those who want their cards and gifts arriving in plenty of time, they should be sent by December 19 for parcels using second-class stamps, and by December 21 for those sent first-class.

For Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed, Parcelforce Worldwide express24 and expressAM the final posting date is 22 December, while Royal Mail Special Delivery by 1pm with Saturday Guarantee sent letters and packages need to be sent by December 23.

Guidance regarding last posting dates has been revealed by the post office. (Getty Images)
Guidance regarding last posting dates has been revealed by the post office. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile those sending festive greetings and gifts abroad are advised to check the latest recommended posting dates on the website as they may vary depending on the destination.

"Get your cards, gifts and greetings there in time for Christmas," the post office website urges. "Check the latest recommended posting dates for all UK and international services as some international dates are earlier than last year.

"As always, our advice is to post early and avoid the rush."

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The guidance comes as Royal Mail has released a Christmas stamp collection featuring the Queen’s silhouette for the final time.

The set of six Art Deco-style stamps focus on key moments from the Nativity story, with each bearing an outline of the late monarch for the last time in more than 50 years.

Designed by Arnold Machin, the distinctive silhouette of the Queen’s profile facing left and wearing the Diamond Diadem has appeared on festive stamps since 1967, according to the Postal Museum.

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Christmas stamps for 2022 have been released featuring the Queen's silhouette for the final time. (PA Images)
Christmas stamps for 2022 have been released featuring the Queen's silhouette for the final time. (PA Images)
The stamps feature various scenes from the Nativity story plus the late Queen's silhouette. (PA Images)
The stamps feature various scenes from the Nativity story plus the late Queen's silhouette. (PA Images)

Royal Mail’s colourful Christmas 2022 first and second-class stamp collection was designed by Kent-based artist Katie Ponder.

They depict key images from the Nativity story, including the journey to Bethlehem and the Magi being guided by the star.

Each stamp also bears a barcode which customers can scan via the Royal Mail app to watch a festive video of Shaun the Sheep, created by Aardman Studios.

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Commenting on the release Royal Mail policy director David Gold said: “Our Christmas stamp issue is always much anticipated, and it is one we particularly look forward to.

“The charming style of these designs sets the perfect tone for the festive season.”

While it is the last time the Queen’s silhouette will feature on a Christmas collection, there are stamps to be issued over the coming months, approved by Her Majesty, which will still display her silhouette.

Additional reporting PA.