Monday, October 11, 2021

Order Your Gifts Early

Between the global pandemic, the election and its aftermath, the vaccine release and controversy over mask mandates, the world has been in constant turmoil since March of 2020.  We have all had to deal with cancelled holidays and activities, virtual school, work-from-home juggling, social distancing, and a new way of life. 

It’s not only people who have had major disruption.  The way our goods are made and shipped, and how those goods get delivered to us, are also in turmoil.  Global manufacturers have had to make massive adjustments to keep up with these everchanging demands and headlines. Labor shortages, issues in the supply chain, higher eCommerce demands, and transportation shortages have wreaked havoc on what’s available and how we shop.
As a result of all of this disruption, the holiday season is expected to be difficult when it comes to shopping. Sharing this news isn’t a PR tactic to drive holiday sales.  This is rooted in fact and widely reported!  What’s going on? 

1.     First -- many goods just weren’t being made for a while. Factories closed and production stopped.  While much is back up and running, it will still take time for things to get back to normal. 

2.     Second – labor shortages are real.  Whether workers are being compensated more while receiving unemployment and pandemic benefits and therefore, not coming to work, or workers have COVID or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID, the labor shortage isn’t fake news. There simply aren’t enough people to do all the work! 

3.     Third – ships are stuck!  Carriers coming from overseas are lined up waiting to dock and unload but there is a tremendous backlog.  There are simply too many ships! Further, when the ships are able to dock, there are not enough people to unload. Add a shortage of drivers to transport the goods and what a mess. 

So what does this mean for holiday shopping?  It means with the constant labor shortage and supply chain interruption,  it may take much longer to get to you and your family this holiday season – or items may become out of stock very early in the season (we are already seeing this happen now).  How can you get ahead of things and ensure a smooth holiday season?  Here are four tips! 

1.      Organize your list now. 
Do you have a good idea of what your family and friends want for the holidays? Start thinking about it now and make your list early.  
2.     Don’t wait for better sales. 
This year looks different. Stores are having holiday deals well before the holiday season begins this year and it won’t benefit you to wait. Prices are not expected to drop before the holidays, but are actually expected to rise (that whole supply and demand thing from economics!). Some large retailers have already indicated that they will not be having Black Friday sales as is tradition.  Keep an eye out for early sales and take advantage! 
3.     Order Early 
As if it wasn’t already evident, our advice is to shop early for things you really want or need.  When you’re organized about what you are buying and you are following our tips #1 and #2, this should be easy!  
4.     Stay Calm
Prepare for gifts to arrive late and just go with it.  If COVID has taught us anything, it’s instilled in us that we have to “go with the flow” and adjust.  Cut yourself and loved ones some slack.  This might not be the perfect holiday season but focus on what is really important – your family, friends, and health.  Prioritize people over things and you’ll have the best and most meaningful experience of all. 
Still not convinced it’s going to be a rocky holiday gift-giving and receiving season?  Don’t just take our word for it.  Google: “Why it’s important to shop early this Christmas” and see what you find.  We are here to make your holidays a little easier.  Feel free to reach out for holiday card assistance or gift assistance, too. 



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