CHICAGO (CBS) — Remember when you opened the door on Christmas Eve and it was Uncle Charlie with an armload of presents? Today, it’s the FedEx man, and you wonder: Did mine get there on time?

There’s nothing worse than getting the perfect gift, only to miss a shipping deadline and leave someone empty-handed on Christmas.

Several people showed up at a Roscoe Village FedEx store Friday, which was a critical deadline.

“It’s always a concern because you want your gift to arrive on time, and I’m sending some things to my godchildren and I know they’re super excited,” Esther Kashkin said. “I don’t want to disappoint them.”

Business was brisk at Federal Express for good reason. Friday was the last day to ship via ground service, manager George Santos said.

But if you’re willing to pay for express mail, you have right up until Dec. 23rd.

If you’re planning to use the U.S. Postal Service, you have until Monday Dec. 20 for ground shipping in time for Christmas. You have until Dec. 21 for Priority Mail — including those flat rate “if it fits, it ships” boxes – and Dec. 22 for Express Mail. 

Some folks simply won’t have to worry about it.

“I’m not stressing out about being late for once,” Leslie Suder said. ”This is the first time I think I’m ahead of the game — completely done.”

Besides shipping early, there’s another way to save money: shipping online at

“You can pay there for postage, print labels and schedule a carrier to pick up you package from your home or office for free,” Mark Reynolds, the USPS’ Chicago district spokesperson, said.