This time of year, more than ever, it’s important that everyone at the store knows how long it will take to special order a book for a customer. Spend a few minutes today figuring out the last day you can take a special order from each of your regular suppliers. Check how long shipping will take (the USPS has a handy tool for that, for example) and calculate the last day you can ship a book to arrive before the 25th.
Then type up the dates and post them at the register. Booksellers and customers alike will be happy for the reassurance.