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Gift Shop Early This Holiday 2021, Because the Good Gifts will Go Quickly

gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out

We truly do not mean to be the Grinch who stole the holiday joy. But this holiday season – like last year – promises to be one like no other. So buckle up – it’s time to get Christmas and holiday gift shopping right now! The Great Global Supply Chain Glitch has put holiday gift-giving in peril. Cargo ships are stacked up outside the Port of LA – meaning that lots of toys and other holiday items are stuck in shipping containers when they should be on store shelves. But fear not! Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has a report on everything you need to know about 11 classic holiday items that may sell out, and how to be sure that you act and shop accordingly. Don’t wait. And consider going back to retail. Gift shop early this holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean that store shelves will empty out faster, and the good gifts will go very quickly. October is new December. But it’s not too late to save the holidays, dear reader! Here’s how.

why you have to gift shop early this Christmas holiday 2021

As you are probably well-aware, we are in the middle of a global supply chain shortage. The reasons for this shortage are many, and though the pandemic certainly plays a major role,  other factors have also convened to create a perfect storm – and it’s going to take the world a while to bounce back. Every industry has been hit, and everyone will be affected.

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With our limited access to paper, computer chips, cotton, and other essential materials, you can be sure that many of the items we take for granted will be harder than usual to acquire this year. So, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays – and gifts, and food and other essentials – right now. October is the new December this year. Ignore that at your peril.

shop early this holiday 2021 for these gifts and other Thanksgiving and Christmas treats

A little early planning can go a long way, especially in these strange times. Here are ten items you should consider picking up sooner rather than later, if you’re hoping to enjoy them this season. Don’t wait, act now, and you can be the Holiday Hero.

1. Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Before we even get to December, we have to talk about Thanksgiving. According to Today, a spokesperson from Butterball has confirmed that small, frozen turkeys – which populate many people’s holiday tables – may be harder to come by this year. Because these are turkeys that are frozen at processing plants throughout the year, labor shortages make it likely that fewer will be available in November.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

And yes, it’s likely that small, fresh turkeys will be difficult to find for the same reason. Do you know what (and where) you’re eating this Thanksgiving?  You may want to decide that now.

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2. Christmas Trees.

We hate to be the ones to tell you, but live Christmas trees may also be in short supply for holiday 2021. This is a great example of how this season’s shortages are not all due to COVID-19 – extreme heatwaves have caused a major reduction in this year’s Christmas tree crop.

With fewer trees available for purchase, prices will definitely be higher, and it may be difficult to find a tree at all. So, if you’re interested in a live tree, make sure to snag yours as early as possible.

3. Holiday Décor.

Unfortunately, it’s not just trees that will be hard to find. Faux and real holiday décor – think wreaths, ornaments, and garlandswill be in limited supply this year. Because of the shipping crisis, any decorative items that are made overseas and shipped to the US in time for the holiday season – of which are many, since these are not items that stores sell throughout the year – will be slow or late to arrive. Many will arrive after Christmas 2021 is already over.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

If you know you’re going to want to give your home a jolly makeover, you should shop for your holiday decorations as soon as possible.

4. Toys.

This one may be hard to hear. Parents, beware: the supply shortage has been particularly hard on toys and other gifts for kids.  Several factors have converged to delay their arrival in stores. And it’s unclear at this point whether or not they will make it to our shores before the holidays.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

And if that’s not enough, it looks as if the demand for toys has actually gone up. Meaning that there’s going to be even more competition for the items that manage to reach the shelves. This may be a year to get creative, and give some presents that are outside the box.

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5. Books.

Both hardcover and paperback books may also be scarce, thanks to a shortage of paper and ink. We are already seeing major delays in the production of the latest titles. For this reason, many books that were supposed to come out at the end of 2021 are being pushed to release dates next year. A major disappointment for authors and publishers, and also for devoted fans of particular writers. Think about a gift that is book-adjacent this year. Perhaps an e-book? Although it’s hard to present that as an impressive gift under the tree. You can always reach for the classics.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

And at least in this case, there is a bright side: book sales are actually up! Many more people are reading physical books in 2021 than in recent years.

6. Sneakers.

No one is immune to the effects of the supply chain shortage. Before we have even reached peak holiday season, Nike has already announced that their inventory levels may suffer in the coming months.

Apparently, most Nike shoes are made in Vietnam. Which, as we know, is just emerging from a COVID-19 outbreak and a subsequent lockdown. If there is a specific pair of shoes you are interested in gifting for the holidays, you may have to wait until 2022.

7. Clothing.

And of course, the fashion shortage isn’t limited to sneakers. Cotton prices have reached a decade-long high, thanks to bad weather, the coronavirus pandemic and other related causes. As a result, new clothes may be harder to find. And they may be much more expensive when you do find them.

Though we are confident that the situation will ease in 2022, it does look like it’s going to be a difficult December. If there is anything you’d like to buy before the year is over, you may want to do it now.

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8. Phones

Now lets talk about the Great Computer Chip Shortage of 2021. You have probably already read something about this, as computer chips – thanks to our highly digital world – are involved in almost everything we do. A lot has been written about the effect of this shortage on cars. But the impact is farther-reaching than you may have realized. For instance, it’s leading to a shortage of smartphones.

Though Apple has managed to avoid some of the negative effects of the shortage, other smartphone brands are scrambling to keep up production. While demand is up, the creation of certain models is being delayed or even canceled. If you were thinking about a new phone for the holidays, get it now.

9. Kitchen Appliances.

As we all know, computer chips are not just for phones. These days, they are in everything we use. Have you been thinking about a new dishwasher, microwave or refrigerator to land in your home before the big holiday meals commence?

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

Plan to gift shop at retail early this Christmas holiday 2021, because supply chain problems mean the good gifts will sell out very quickly.

Dear reader, it’s already too late. If you didn’t order appliances sometime in June, it is well past the point where you’ll be able to buy them for delivery before the holidays. Unless you can convince a retailer to sell you the floor model. You may want to soldier on through one more holiday season with the appliances you already have. Next year, it should be much easier to find new ones.

10. XBox and other video gaming systems.

Add to our list of gift items for which you have to shop early (and at retail) this Christmas holiday 2021 a perennially popular category: video games. Unfortunately, it does not look like the supply of video games will reach 2019 levels again until the latter half of 2022. Meaning this time next year.

11. New Year’s Eve champagne.

We close our list of classic holiday items that you really need to shop early for in 2021 with bubbly. This weekend’s Wall Street Journal brought the distressing news that there is also likely to be a global champagne shortage just in time to thwart New Year’s Eve party plans. 70 container ships with wine and spirits are waiting to dock in the ports of LA and Long Beach. And Veuve Clicquot Champagne is already being rationed in the state of Pennsylvania, along with 43 other wine and spirits. Many savvy retailers have already stocked up on wine and sparklers in anticipation of runs on the products as word gets out. But they’re now worried about having sufficient store staff to ring up the purchases. Oy vey!

shop early this Christmas holiday 2021, or the good gifts will be gone

We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news. But now that you know what the challenges are, you’re equipped to be nimble and come up with some creative solutions.

Like shopping at retail rather than online, so you don’t have to worry about delivery delays and cancelled orders. Gifting experiences at restaurants, theaters, hotels, cruise lines and other industries hit hard by the pandemic. Making something by hand! Visiting a local holiday market. Or just getting out there now and getting your gift shopping done.

After nearly two years of coping with the pandemic, we are all used to waiting for things by now. But it’s still a disappointment to know that this year’s holidays are likely to look a little different than usual.

We say make some lemonade out of these lemons! Do your shopping early, get creative, and you’ll actually be able to enjoy the holiday season instead of stressing over shopping. And make sure to say thanks for the things that you do have this season, dear reader.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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