*in a still-pandemic, supply-chain disrupted, labor-shorted world
How’s your holiday shopping going?
If you’re reading this issue in mid-December with an unfinished list, it’s not necessarily time to panic. But also the global market isn’t doing you any favors right now.
We’ve been talking about this since last year, when you first heard about waiting lists for cars and backorders on house paint. Your buddy shared incredulously how it took nine months to get a new couch delivered. And your brother in California posted on Facebook in early November about ominously empty shelves at the big-box store. It seemed weird how long the candy aisles took to rebound after Halloween, right?
None of us should be surprised; people who were paying to the weaknesses in the supply chain system – even prepandemic – weren’t.
For example, take Don Kipper and his daughter, Lily, who own Los Angeles’ oldest toy store. They began stocking up on their popular classic toys inventory earlier this year, ordering whatever and wherever they could – months before the ports logjams out west. I know because I read about them in the Los Angeles Times, while flipping through the paper on a flight home. Uh-oh, I thought at the time.
That was October. And of this writing I still haven’t bought a gift yet, so who am I to judge?
But here we are, Christmas morning looming and rolling the dice on our kids’ wishlists, i.e. the Amazon toy catalog dog-eared so much it’s doubled in thickness. Bezos’s no dummy; he has an end game by putting stickers in there.
For my sake, and your benefit, here’s the new game plays for shopping at this point.
• Shop Local:
You know this, you’ve heard this and you, hopefully, already think about this. But I also know you get tempted by shopping in PJs and being greeted by a cardboard box when you get home. But take this chance to look at your existing, local supply chain. A pair of earrings you can hold or piece of artwork you take home is an immediate check off your list.
• Do Stuff:
Don’t forget experiences as gifts. Besides being Marie Kondo-approved (I would think), investing in experiences can be unique ideas. The shutdown last year put a hurt on many area attractions. A membership to CAM or aquarium gets people out of the house and, once again, directly supports local payrolls.
• Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
Easily reduce your holiday budget this year. “Sorry, honey, your Gronky-5000 is stuck offshore.” For those with the most-pint-sized recipients, recycle toys with neighbors – one family’s princess-castle-tripping hazard is another’s Christmas day delight. And reuse. Does anyone really remember what you got at the office white elephant last year? Let’s just say my Sriracha keychain will be making a reappearance at the party this year.
On the bright side, I have not interviewed Santa yet on BizTalk, but my guess is, he owns his own transport vehicles and has a longtime workforce. So unless Rudolph demands to work remotely, we should be good. (I think our Christmas lists we mailed should be safe … or might be better to email.)
Happy holidays, everyone.