father's day mailing gift

Can you send Dad a six pack of beer through the U.S. mail? What about a box of cigars? Today, as a follow-up to our popular holiday mailing tips blog, we share some tips on packaging and mailing your potential Father’s Day gifts this June.

When is Father’s Day 2024?

First things first: it’s on Sunday, June 16th. If you’ve stumbled across this blog in 2025, your Father’s Day is on June 15th. And if you’re reading in 2026, you’ll be celebrating on June 21st. (Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday each June, so it doesn’t always land on the same day).

Can I send alcohol in the mail?

Unfortunately, shipping your dad a bottle of his favorite bourbon, whiskey, or wine isn’t as easy as dropping it off at your local post office. The USPS does not allow the shipment of most alcoholic beverages, even those with a low alcohol content. (It does make exceptions for cold medicine, cooking wine, and mouthwash. But we’re guessing none of those would make particularly great Father’s Day gifts.)

As for FedEx and UPS, they will only accept alcohol shipments from licensed distributors. FedEx’s alcohol shipping policies can be read here, while UPS’s policies—much the same as FedEx’s—can be found here. Again, though, if you’re not a liquor store or bar owner, you’re better off deploying Option B: placing an order with an online store that does have a license. Booz Box, Sipsy, Caskers, and Spirited Gifts are all popular alcohol retailers that can handle the mailing for you. Just don’t make the easy mistake of entering your delivery address instead of your Dad’s!

Can I mail cigars and cigarettes?

Perhaps surprisingly, the USPS does permit the shipping of tobacco products, as long as they are “small-quantity gift shipments to individuals.” (Why tobacco, but not alcohol? Long story short: Prohibition.) Anyway—when packaging tobacco products, try to treat them as if you are packaging glassware. Ensure that all loose items are bundled together in a plastic bag or film, and place the resulting bundle in a sturdy box. (If you bought loose cigars at a tobacco store, it should have plenty of empty boxes you can use).

Once your items are bundled and secure, place them in a larger box for shipping. You may want to use a “priority mail” box with delivery confirmation, just for the peace of mind it. Use plenty of fill material, like bubble wrap or packing peanuts, to keep everything firmly in place during transport.

Interested in using UPS or FedEx instead to send your dad some smokes? It’s probably best to stick with the mail. UPS does not allow the shipment of tobacco products between non-licensed individuals, and FedEx doesn’t allow it at all.

Can I mail marijuana, hemp, or CBD?

While we’re on the subject of things-your-Dad-might-want-to-light-on-fire, marijuana cannot be sent through the U.S. mail, even if it’s medicinal. Hemp-derived CBD products are allowed, though, as long as you follow certain guidelines. FedEx and UPS will both mail hemp-derived products, as well.

Can I mail steak and meat products?

If you’d like to send Dad some of your home-cured jerky, sausage, or miscellaneous cooked meat product, you’re in luck—the post office will ship any food that complies with USDA regulations, including dried meats. You can read the full USDA guidelines for mail order food safety here, but essentially, it all boils down to proper packaging and a speedy delivery time. Dried meat should have as much air removed from the packaging as possible, preferably with a vacuum sealer, and sent to its destination within a few days (you may want to use priority shipping for this as well).

If you’re a hunter or fisherman determined to share a prized catch with your Dad, it is possible, though you will have a bit more work to do. Frozen meat can be safely shipped by USPS, UPS, and FedEx, as long as you utilize overnight or 2nd Day shipping. Meat must also be packaged in a Styrofoam cooler filled with dry ice (NOT regular ice.) Finally, the package should be labeled as “Perishable” and “Keep Frozen.” If you need any of these packaging materials, be sure to visit our online store.

Can I send a knife through the mail?

Yes—as long as it’s a kitchen knife or small pocket knife. The USPS will not ship switchblade knives, which it defines as “a blade that opens by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle, or by operation of inertia, gravity, or both.” Pocket knives which must be opened manually are mailable, however, as are kitchen knives. Make sure that the item is packaged securely to prevent injury to postal workers by following these steps:

  • Secure a knife cover or sheath over the blade using tight plastic, tape, and/or rubber bands. Make sure that the knife cannot pierce the outer box if it slides forward during transit.
  • Select a small box that fits the item securely.
  • Use packing peanuts, air pillows, bubble wrap, or Kraft paper to keep the items stable during transit.

Happy Father’s Day from everyone at SSI Packaging!

We hope that these mailing tips help you get one of these popular Father’s Day gifts to its recipient safe and sound. And if you’re celebrating your dad this Father’s Day, or if you’re a dad yourself, we also hope you will have an enjoyable and safe holiday! If it all seems like too much hassle, remember that a gift card and a phone call, while simple, will never disappoint.

(804) 808-1606