WIESBADEN, Germany – To ensure holiday gifts, cards, and packages arrive on time, the U.S. Postal Service has set its recommended dates for mailing packages and letters for the upcoming season.“A great way to stay connected to family and friends during the holidays will be to be prepared and send packages as soon as possible,” said Mike Kinstle, chief of the postal operations branch for IMCOM-Europe.The dates apply to both sending from - and sending to - any Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO), or Diplomatic Post Office (DPO), Kinstle said.For APO/FPO/DPO postal codes that begin with 090-092, and 094-099, the recommended mailing deadline for retail ground is Nov. 27; for priority and first-class mail Dec. 11; and priority mail express Dec. 18.Those dates also apply for Europe-based customers who are sending mail to Armed Forces Pacific with postal codes beginning with 962-966, and Armed Forces Americas, with postal codes beginning with 340, according to Kinstle.For postal codes beginning with 093, the recommended deadlines are Nov. 27 for retail ground, and Dec. 9 for priority and first-class mail.For all mail, but especially during this year’s holiday season, Kinstle urges customers to remember two things: COVID-19 and customs forms.“COVID-19 mitigating measures are in place at each of our garrison post offices and customers can expect longer than usual wait times at our post offices during the holidays. To expedite and to make the most of your postal experience it’s important to come prepared,” he said, noting that the online customs form, which is now required, will help fellow customers and workers alike.“Coming prepared will keep our communities safe, ensure a smooth mailing process and will help expedite your visit to the post office,” said Anthony Conley, postal finance and supply specialist with IMCOM-Europe.