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Christmas 2017: When are holiday shipping deadlines?

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 2:47 PM

Deadlines For Sending Christmas Gifts To Military Members

To make sure packages arrive in time for the holidays, you’ll need to know the shipping deadlines for the major carriers. There's not a single date to note: "Last day to ship" guidelines depend on the carrier and a variety of other factors.

This year’s shipping deadlines might be especially tricky, according to Consumer Reports, which has this advice for Christmas gift-givers: "Don't be fooled into thinking that Dec. 25 means you have a cushion of 12 more days. Most major retailers — and package shippers — anticipate online shopping will be off the charts this year and place a tremendous strain on package delivery systems this holiday season."

Whether you're getting a last-minute Sunday delivery from Amazon, are mailing care packages abroad for loved ones in the military or have other pressing shipping needs this holiday season, make sure your gifts get there on time with these holiday shipping deadlines:
Free shipping day

If you take the "If it's free, it's for me," approach, you'll want to check out Free Shipping Day Dec. 15. More than 600 online merchants will participate, offering hundreds of items that will arrive by Christmas Eve when shipped for free on Dec. 15.


For guaranteed Christmas delivery shipping within the U.S.:

Dec. 11: Last day to ship via FedEx SmartPost
Dec. 15: Last day to ship via FedEx Ground
Dec. 18: Last day to ship via FedEx Home Delivery
Dec. 19: Last day to ship via FedEx Express Saver
Dec. 20: Last day to ship via FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
Dec. 21: Last day to ship via FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight
Dec. 25: Last day to ship via FedEx SameDay City (Priority), FedEx SameDay City (standard), and FedEx SameDay

Shipping deadlines vary for packages headed to Puerto Rico and international destinations including Canada and Mexico.

If you're interested in Saturday delivery on Dec. 23, the following FedEx Express® services will deliver that day if you select that option: FedEx First Overnight®, FedEx Priority Overnight®, and FedEx 2Day®. FedEx Ground does not deliver on Saturday, Dec. 23, but FedEx Home Delivery will deliver that day with no additional charge.

The FedEx SameDay service (and some other FedEx expedited services) allows you to ship on Christmas Day or any other day of the year.

Find the delivery time and FedEx delivery choices for your U.S. and international shipments by using the Get Rates & Transit Times application at

Download an easy-to-print deadline calendar for the office or to keep posted at home on the FedEx website.
To make sure your package arrives in time for Christmas via UPS, get a quote that compares shipping charges and delivery times for UPS domestic and international services.
If you're shipping within the U.S.:

Dec. 18: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select, with delivery on Friday, Dec. 22
Dec. 20: Last day to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air, with delivery on Friday, Dec. 22
Dec. 21: Last day to ship via UPS Next Day Air, with delivery by Friday, Dec. 22.
Dec. 21 is also the last day to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air with Saturday Delivery option. (Saturday Delivery is not available to all ZIP codes.)
Dec. 22: Last day to ship via UPS Next Day Air with Saturday Delivery option. (Saturday Delivery is not available to all ZIP codes.)

Note the UPS Saturday delivery carefully, and note that certain other packages and services may require an additional day of transit time per UPS warnings.
For international shipping deadlines and other holiday-related information, such as pickup and delivery schedules, see the Holiday Shipping with UPS website.
And to make sure your package is in good shape to get there in time for Christmas, UPS has packaging tips and guidelines on its website.
U.S. Postal Service

The most important thing to note about holiday shipping deadlines for the USPS is that these are only recommended send-by dates for "expected" delivery by Dec. 25. The postal service notes on its website that "actual delivery date may vary and is based on origin, destination, post office acceptance time and other conditions."

For mail and package shipping within the continental U.S.:

Dec. 14: Last day to send packages via Retail Ground
Dec. 19: Last day to send packages via First Class Mail
Dec. 20: Last day to send packages via Priority Mail
Dec. 22: Last day to send packages via Priority Mail Express
As for the express mail options, note that the USPS will honor its money-back guarantee for Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25th only if the shipment is not delivered or delivery is not attempted within two business days.
For mail and package shipping to Alaska:
Dec. 20: Last day to send packages via First Class Mail and Priority Mail services
Dec. 21: Last day to send packages via Priority Mail Express

For mail and package shipping to Hawaii:
Dec. 15: Last day to send packages via First Class Mail and Priority Mail services
Dec. 20: Last day to send packages via Priority Mail Express

The deadline for shipping packages internationally, including to overseas military bases, varies based on the destination and type of delivery service.
For more information

FedEx last days to ship for holidays

UPS holiday shipping guide

Holiday shipping deadlines, USPS

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'Beware the Ides of March' -- What does that mean?

Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 @ 12:40 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 @ 12:40 PM

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Today marks the Ides of March, which may vaguely remind you of a high school English class. Here are some things to know about the 15th day of the month.

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Day marks the assassination of Julius Caesar

Most famously on this date, some 2,060 years ago, Roman dictator Julius Caesar died in an assassination by senators at the Curia of Pompey.

Tensions had been simmering between senators and Caesar before his death, fueled by Caesar's continued consolidation of power. However, Caesar considered the senators his allies. Just a few years before his death, Caesar was named “dictator in perpetuity,” a move that further strained relations.

According to historians, sixty senators planned and participated in the conspiracy to kill Caesar in 44 B.C.

Death marked a turning point in Roman history

Caesar was popular with the lower class people of Rome, who saw his death as an unwelcome decision made by the aristocratic class. With Caesar no longer leading, potential leaders waged war to fill the power vacuum.

The civil wars eventually culminated in the end of the Roman Republic and beginning of the Roman Empire.

'Beware the Ides of March' made famous by Shakespeare

In case you really did forget your high school English class, it's worth noting the phrase “Beware the Ides of March” was immortalized by William Shakespeare in his tragic masterpiece “Julius Caesar.”

In the play, a soothsayer warns Caesar to be careful on March 15, although the ruler ignores the mystic with tragic consequences.

Famous line based on historical events

It may come as a surprise to know the well-known phrase was actually inspired by real events.

According to Greek historian Plutarch, a seer really did warn Caesar that he would be at the very least injured by the Ides of March.

Caesar did not heed the warning.

On the day of his death, he saw the oracle and joked that he had made it to the Ides of March, to which the seer responded the day had not yet ended.

So why is it called the "Ides of March?"

The Romans kept track of days on its calendar by dividing each month up into three separate points marking the beginning, middle and end of the month. You may have guessed it but the Ides fall in the middle of the month, on the 15th of March, May, July and October and the 13th for the rest of the year.

The Ides were sacred and marked a monthly sacrifice to the Roman god Jupiter. Various other religious observances also took place on the Ides of March.

Other famous events on this day

Today isn't the anniversary of Caesar's death. Here are a few other famous events that have happened today in history:
  • 1972: Forty-four years ago (yes, that number is right) Francis Ford Coppola's three-hour crime epic "The Godfather" first played in theaters. Before "Jaws" came along in 1976, the film was the highest-grossing film ever made. It went on to win three Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture.

  • 1917: Czar Nicholas II was forced by the revolting Russian people to abdicate the throne after ruling the country for more than 20 years. The February Revolution -- so named because Russia used the Julian calendar at the time -- broke out just four days before the czar abdicated his throne.

  • 1767: Our seventh president, Andrew Jackson, was born on this day somewhere between the Carolinas near the end of the colonial era. His exact place of birth is disputed.

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Valentine's Day 2018: 6 ways to eat for free or cheap

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 8:18 AM

Valentine’s Day Deals 2018

From flowers to a gift to dinner out, Valentine's Day can be an expensive holiday.

>> White Castle will offer romantic Valentine’s Day package, reservations again

To help you save some money, these restaurants are offering some cheap or free Valentine's Day meals.


If you're without a significant other this Valentine's Day – or even if you've found a new sweetie and want to score some free wings – participating Hooters locations will help you shred your ex. Shred online and print a coupon to take to the restaurant or bring in a photo of your former love and let Hooters shred it. In return, you can buy 10 boneless wings and get 10 free – and maybe a bit of catharsis. Learn more at

Fogo de Chão

If you make a reservation and dine at a participating Fogo's location anytime from Feb. 10 through Feb. 17, you'll be able to save on a return visit. You'll receive a complimentary churrasco dining card that you can use next time you're in the restaurant. (As is usually the case, "certain restrictions apply.") Learn more at 

Qdoba Mexican Eats

Take advantage of the restaurant's "Qdoba for a Kiss" promotion, and you'll be able to buy one entrée and get one free at participating restaurants on Feb. 14. Bring your significant other to kiss, smooch a photo of your favorite celebrity on your cellphone or even pucker up to a burrito – anything goes! 

On top of that sweet deal, from Feb. 6-28, if you share a kissing photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #QdobaForAKiss, Qdoba will donate $1 to No Kid HungryFor more information, visit

Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse offers a Valentine's Day meal for two at participating restaurants from Feb. 12-16. For a special price (which varies by location), a couple can share a Bloomin' Onion, choose two entrees (center cut sirloin, grilled salmon or Alice Springs chicken), two sides, two salads and cheesecake for dessert. Learn more at

California Pizza Kitchen

Enjoy a "Sweet Deal for Two" at participating California Pizza Kitchen locations from Feb. 14 to 18, and you'll get an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert from their special menu for $35. Choose from among three appetizers, 10 entrees or four desserts. As a further incentive, if you tag your sweetie or best friend in California Pizza Kitchen's Facebook post with the hashtag #CPKgiveaway, you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card. Learn more at

Waffle House 

Waffle House probably isn't the restaurant you think of when you're picturing a candlelit dinner with cloth napkins and tablecloths, but that's just what they're doing on Valentine's Day. You can enjoy alcohol-free champagne as the lights are dimmed, and choose from breakfast favorites or special offerings like ribeye and eggs. Many locations are participating, so check for your location's phone number and contact person for reservationsLearn more at

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List ranks best U.S. cities to get married

Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 @ 5:16 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 7:21 AM

A couple exchanges rings as they are wed during a group Valentine's day wedding at the National Croquet Center on February 14, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A couple exchanges rings as they are wed during a group Valentine's day wedding at the National Croquet Center on February 14, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Looking for a place to get married? A new study claims that there is a premiere wedding destination in our own backyard.

According to WalletHub, Orlando ranks as the top city for weddings in the United States, and Atlanta is right behind at third. The study looked at factors such as the average cost of a wedding, the number of wedding chapels, churches and bridal shops in an area and the area with the most attractions.

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WalletHub said its methodology involved comparing 15 U.S. cities in cost, activities and attractions and facilities and services.

Las Vegas lost its top spot in 2018, with Orlando now number one, and Sin City coming in at number 2.

Take a look at the rankings:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Atlanta
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Miami
  6. San Diego
  7. San Francisco
  8. Chicago
  9. New York
  10. Portland, Oregon

Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, made the list at 11th, 19th, 23rd and 28th, respectively.

Other cities on the list include Spokane, Washington, 54th; Pittsburgh 35th, Seattle 12th, Tulsa, Oklahoma, No. 46th, and Memphis, Tennessee, 51st.

The full list ranking 182 cities can be found at WalletHub.

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.

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Valentine’s Day takes on special meaning for parents of hospitalized babies

Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 10:31 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 7:02 AM

NICU Babies Warming Hearts For Valentine’s Day

Hospitalized babies can pull at the heart strings of even the most courageous among us.

When babies are sick or born prematurely, the families of these children are under enormous emotional and, often, financial pressure.

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Some 380,000 babies, or one in every 10, are born prematurely, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, in the United States every year, the March of Dimes estimated. Most end up in the hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, the March of Dimes said.

In Kansas City, Missouri the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program at Saint Luke’s Hospital is aware of the hardships parents face when their babies are hospitalized. That’s why they planned a special Valentine’s Day celebration in recent years.

Related: Valentine's Day: List ranks some of the nation's best places to celebrate

The staff and volunteers, calling it a “special celebration of love,” assembled tiny knit caps with hearts that each baby in their care will wear for a special Valentine’s Day photo shoot. They’re also making baby footprint valentines for the parents.

“Every day a child is in the NICU can be frightening and uncertain, but holidays are especially tough, as families miss the normal joys of celebrations at home,” March of Dimes NICU Family Support coordinator, Rebecca Keunen said in a press release.

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The nonprofit developed the NICU Family Support program to help families while their babies are in the intensive care unit, but even when these babies leave the hospital, they often face serious health challenges. The March of Dimes said these children are at higher risks for lifelong disabilities, including breathing problems, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.

The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that focuses on pregnancy, baby health and conducts research into premature births.

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