This Christmas, you may need to start decking the halls a little early. 


I've always been one to buy and wrap my Christmas gifts months in advance, and while my friends and family typically tease me for being over-prepared, this year I have a good reason: Due to the current global shipping crisis, you can expect a nationwide shortage of Christmas decor, toys, and gifts this holiday season, reports CNN. As a result of the pandemic, fewer products have been made over the past year and a half. And combined with high shipping costs and labor shortages, this means that the products that are created may not get to stores in time for the holidays. 

The shipping crisis has caused a supply shortage of almost everything that's made overseas, but as we approach the holiday season, there are a few major categories that will be hit hardest. Here's everything you need to know about supply chain shortages, and what you can do about it. 

couple shopping for christmas decor, trees and supplies
Credit: AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

Christmas Decor

While buying Christmas decor before Halloween isn't everyone's cup of tea, you may want to stock up early this year. Because stores don't usually keep seasonal items on hand all year, they rely on things like trees, garlands, and ornaments to be delivered in the fall so they can be put out for sale in the months leading up to Christmas. But due to the shipping shortages right now, stores aren't receiving as many seasonal products on time, many of these holiday decor items won't even reach store warehouses by Christmas. 

That means that what you see on store shelves right now could be all there is for the season. So if you're in the market for a new wreath or garland, we recommend buying it now. (You can always store it away for another month or two if you aren't ready to get your Christmas cheer on just yet.) 

Of course, you can always go the DIY route with homemade Christmas ornaments, holiday wreaths (you can make all of these for under $15!), and other festive Christmas crafts.

Christmas Trees 

Artificial Christmas trees are included in the shortage of holiday decor, but due to weather factors, live Christmas trees may be harder to come by this year as well. (And you can expect them to be a bit more expensive, too). 

But don't panic about the Christmas tree shortage just yet—there are still plenty of trees available, and you can buy a live tree as early as Thanksgiving weekend and expect it to live through Christmas with proper care. You can also contact your local Christmas farm; many of them will let you buy a tree ahead of time to reserve it, but you don't have to cut it down the day you pay for it.

Gifts, Toys, and Games 

Another category hit hard by the shipping crisis is toys and games. While these aren't necessarily holiday-specific items, the demand for them skyrockets during the holidays as parents shop for their kids. Board games, in particular, will be in short supply this Christmas because they require so many parts and materials that are often made overseas. The same goes for most children's toys as well. 

This season, you may want to have your kids make their wishlists early, so you (and Santa) have the best chance of finding everything. As of right now, all 50 of these classic board games are in stock, so we recommend buying them now to save for Christmas.

If you're shopping late in the season and can't find new board games in stock, you can make DIY board games, or gift this colorful DIY travel game instead.


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