As we enter autumn, the dreaded 'Christmas' word has already reared its ugly head. 

And regardless of whether you're counting down the days or burying your head in the sand, conversations have already turned to the festive season.

With this in mind, Royal Mail has released its last guaranteed dates for Christmas deliveries, both for parcels in the UK and abroad.

Royal Mail's last delivery Christmas dates

Friday, December 16
Royal Mail Bulk Mail Economy

Monday, December 19
2nd Class
2nd Class Signed For
Royal Mail 48®

Wednesday, December 21
1st Class
1st Class Signed For
Royal Mail 24®
Royal Mail Tracked 48®**

Thursday, December 22
Royal Mail Tracked 24®**

Friday, December 23

Special Delivery Guaranteed®

Royal Mail International Christmas delivery dates 

Those of you with friends and relatives abroad better start thinking about posting Christmas gifts soon, with deadlines all in October.

For International Standard and International Tracked and Signature Services, you must post parcels within the next 3 weeks.

For the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Anguilla the deadline is Friday, October 7.

If you're posting International Economy, for Hong Kong, Middle and Far East, Singapore and South Africa, you must post your parcels by Friday, October 14.

For the USA and Canada, it is Monday, October 31.