While many of us are in constant touch electronically with friends and family, the old tradition of sending (and receiving) Christmas cards to far-flung places is one that we still hold dear.
But a physical letter’s journey is still subject to the delays caused by the huge distances between here and our far-away relatives and acquaintances.
So, it’s best to get your cards and presents in the post good and early, to avoid disappointment.
And Royal Mail has published its recommended latest Christmas posting dates for air mail.
Post to the Middle East and Africa should be dispatched by Saturday December 2, while cards or gifts to Australia or New Zealand should be mailed by Saturday December 9.
The last recommended posting date for the United States and Canada is December 14, while cards and presents to Denmark, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland can be posted up to Friday 15 December.
Closest to home, letters and parcels going to the The Republic of Ireland and France have a final sending date of Saturday December 16 if they’re to arrive in time for Christmas. .
These last posting dates apply to both standard international services and those which have tracking and signature.