Send Christmas gifts with Interparcel

Common Christmas gifts & how to safely ship them

6th December 2022, 3:03pm in Shipping Advice by Amy Newham

Tis’ the season to eat, drink and be merry! No, not merry from your brandy cocktail, but because you’ve saved money sending your Christmas parcels with Interparcel!

Last year, we discussed popular Christmas presents you can and can’t send with us. This year, we are giving you a refresher on common Christmas gifts and how to ship them safely via our couriers. Many gifts sold in festive wrapping paper will not be suitable for shipping, so you must follow standard packaging guidelines for safe delivery.

Common Christmas gifts you CAN send by courier

Send Christmas item

Different countries, carriers and services have their list of Prohibited and Restricted items. If you’re a little hazy about the rules, our up-to-date list should provide some clarity. If you are sending a parcel abroad, we advise you to contact local customs for further help and advice.

Here are some popular Christmas items and how to package them sufficiently for transit:

Video games

For gamers, a copy of the latest video game or the newest game controller or console would make them smile. Most video games are typically small and light but the disc inside is fragile. Therefore, if you plan to send a singular game, we recommend wrapping it in several layers of bubble wrap before encasing it in cardboard.

For multiple games, we advise you to pile in stacks and place them in a strong cardboard box with the spines facing upwards. Separate the layers with internal packaging and fill the space with crumpled paper or packing peanuts for a snug fit.

Respectively, game consoles and laptops can be sent via courier, provided they are packaged securely. We recommend foam-fitted packaging inside the cardboard to minimise movement.


Clothing of all shapes, sizes, materials and colours are popular items sent at Christmas. However, they are also one of the most returned items. Something to think about before you buy your dad that festive jumper for the 5th year in a row!

All our parcel companies accept clothing through their services, giving you many options when sending your parcel. So, whether you prefer shipping via a Collection or Drop Off service, you can find a low-cost service with us.

Our APC MailPack and APC CourierPack Next Day services are suitable for small and light garments up to 1kg. For t-shirts, jumpers and long-sleeve tops, we recommend you lay the garment out flat, fold the sleeves behind the back, fold the edges lengthwise and then neatly fold the item in half so it can fit in an A4 or A3-sized packet.


Packing shoes

Nothing says miss shoe like sending your best friend a pair of cute heels. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves because we’ve also bought a pair in a different colour. Regardless, shoes of all styles need to be packaged with care.

Light shoes like flip flops or pumps are OK to send in a mailpack, but sturdier and heavier shoes like trainers or boots need more protection. Corrugated cardboard is best because it’s stronger than ordinary cardboard and can help protect your item against adverse weather. Critical if you’re sending leather or suede shoes. You must wrap each shoe inside the box so they don’t scuff each other and provide extra protection as it travels through the parcel network.


Many of us enjoy a cheeky glass of fizz over the festive season, so no wonder why alcohol is commonly gifted on the big day. However, whilst you can send specific alcohol and liquids by courier, there are some rules you must follow.

Any alcoholic beverages exceeding 70% volume are strictly banned from shipment within the UK and internationally. There are other restrictions around percentages, but typically wine, beer, champagne and prosecco are acceptable to send domestically and globally. However, liquid items must be packaged well enough to withstand a tumble due to their fragile nature.

The APC Liquid service is ideal for shipping liquids. Packages sent on this service are handled by specially trained staff, sorted by hand, and separated into individual cages to maximise protection. Similarly, whilst Parcelforce does not offer a specific liquid service, you can send alcohol with their services. You can ship alcohol between 24-70% in the UK via a Parcelforce 48 Drop-Off service.


Books of all shapes and sizes are relatively easy to ship, providing they are sufficiently wrapped to avoid damage to the cover or spine.

If you’re shipping a single paperback, a padded envelope with additional cushioning material inside might be ideal. For multiple books or a hardback, you’ll want to use a sturdy, double-walled pr corrugated cardboard box with plenty of cushioning materials.

Common Christmas gifts you CANNOT send by courier


If gift-giving isn’t your forte, you may want to send a loved one money so they can choose their perfect present. However, you cannot send cash or a payment card through our courier services.

Alternatively, why not bank transfer your money over and send an extra smaller gift, so your recipient has something to open? Evri ParcelShop Postable is ideal for sending letterbox-sized parcels, and you can incorporate dropping it off into your schedule.

Perishable goods

Banned Christmas items

If you make a homemade hamper to send to loved ones for Christmas, ensure you do not include any perishable goods. A perishable good means anything that deteriorates due to environmental conditions, such as meat products, dairy, or fruit and vegetables. However, you can send food domestically in the UK, providing it is properly sealed and has a long shelf life. A biscuit or sweet hamper would make a thoughtful gift- leave the Christmas pudding until you see them in person!

Mobile phone with SIM card

A mobile phone makes a great gift providing it’s properly packaged and does not include the SIM. Due to data protection, we cannot accept mobiles with the SIM card inside, so please do not attempt to send them!

If you’re sending anything electronic, please take extra care to package it with internal cushioning material. A timed or next-day service can also help reduce the time it is in transit. We also recommend you take out extra transit cover if it is a higher-value item.

Unboxed items or items that do not have internal packaging

All items must be encased in internal packaging and cardboard boxes to be sent via our courier services. We advise you to select a strong cardboard box and pad the inside with interior packing materials such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or shredded paper. Similarly, do not attempt to strap parcels together. Seal the package using strong packing tape along the lids and sides and attach relevant documentation and shipping label to the outside of the box.

Of course, every parcel delivery booked with Interparcel comes with free tracking. As a self-tracking service, you can quickly check the progress of your shipment using our online tracking portal or SMS / email updates if you select those options at booking. If you have an account with us, you can easily view the status of all your orders in one place.

Are you an eCommerce business?

Christmas eCommerce

Christmas is a hectic time for all you eCommerce sellers out there because you want to provide your buyers with the best service possible. It's important that your shipping strategy is ready to handle an influx in Christmas orders. This includes quick and reliable shipping. Alongside our packing tips, we have many tools and features to help businesses manage an influx in shipping this Christmas. For instance, we offer:

  • Free account set-up
  • Automatic address correction: no more incorrect addresses
  • Multi-channel fulfilment: collate orders from multiple eCommerce platforms into one place
  • 'Send Again' and 'Return Parcel' actions: to streamline repeat and return orders
  • Parcel Presets: save parcel details for speedier sending on future orders
  • Branded Tracking: customise their own branded tracking portal and obtain a unique URL
  • Unlimited no-cost printing options: print your 6x4 shipping labels and A4 documents directly to your printer
  • Customer service: customer support available seven days a week via telephone, email, live chat and social media

Like what you read? All these features are completely FREE when you create an account with us.

Don’t get caught out by the last posting dates!

Our parcel networks are extremely busy this peak shopping season, so please send your gifts and packages as early as possible to avoid disappointment. As always, we will continue to provide the best service throughout the festive period.

Start sending today

If you require assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team have all the information you need on the couriers and services we offer and are available to contact seven days a week. You can also speak to our friendly team of parcel experts over the telephone via email or live chat.

Please note: Information was accurate at the time of writing. Our Prohibited and Restricted list is frequently updated, so ensure you check the list at the time of booking. The Carrier/Interparcel have the right to refuse a consignment if there is no packaging, insufficient packaging or the shipment contains a prohibited item. For further information, please read our T&Cs.

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