Day after Christmas and packages still missing? Thanks to overwhelming online ordering, new retailer shipping policies, and a series of severe winter storms, if you ordered delivery through FedEx, you might be making some belated gift-giving rounds this year.

The shipping giant was faced with a growing conundrum as the holiday approached, with online orders up more than 12% over last year and some retailers making the cut-off date for Christmas delivery later than ever.

What really knocked FedEx back, however, was a massive storm system bearing down on their major distribution center, located in Memphis. This isn’t an ordinary bit of rain and snow, however; the South has been plunged into real peril by the storms, which have included tornadoes and caused at least 14 deaths.

These factors combined led to serious shipping delays for thousands of guaranteed-delivery-by-Christmas packages, and social media, if you can believe it, was not amused.

To the company’s credit, many employees kindly volunteered to spend their Christmas’ working extra shifts to deliver packages, or keeping regional centers open so that customers could pick up packages before the big day. Once the reasons behind the big delays and the efforts made by the company to keep delivering got out, FedEx also got a few social media defenders:

As online ordering for Christmas continues to increase with every year, shipping is harder and harder for companies like FedEx to manage. While competitor UPS had more success this year, completing all orders by 8 PM on Christmas Eve, they suffered similar problems in 2013 after a surge in late purchases.

No word on if FedEx or retailers will be taking any steps to remedy the situation beyond finally getting people their packages, but a special shout out to all the FedEx volunteers who chose to play Santa yesterday- your Christmas spirit is appreciated!

(Image via Shutterstock)