I think there are as many answers to those questions as there are people who participated -- plus two!
And whatever happens, however it happens, whenever it happens -- it's all good!
It's hard to know for sure when to ship -- you get only so much information from post offices, and the accuracy of it is highly variable. So you make your best guess, based on what you're shipping and where to. Some people are better than others at waiting, some people have a grand time egging each other on. Watch for the "look what I got" threads -- they're a riot!
So we get parcels arriving way early, excruciatingly late, and everywhere in between. And we get people tearing the parcel open practically before it reaches their door, and others waiting weeks to open close to Christmas, and some giving us bonus openings in January.
And gifts -- an incredible variety -- often VERY creative!
It will be fine. Your recipient will get her/his parcel when it arrives, may or may not be patient enough to wait, and either way will be delighted with its contents. There's TCS magic in this, that's why it works.