LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Do you have your Christmas shopping done yet? With rising prices and the looming possibility of a railroad strike and maybe diesel fuel shortages, you might want to start thinking about starting your Christmas shopping early this year. Maybe pick up your Thanksgiving turkey ahead of time too.

The Christmas season seems to come earlier and earlier and this year is no different.

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Even the Hallmark Channel started their Christmas movies early this year – before Halloween. The yearly “Countdown to Christmas” started on Sunday, October 23rd and on Halloween they posted a pumpkin ornament on a Christmas tree and said, “People may be trick or treating but our Christmas lights are already up.”

Even before Halloween was upon us, many large retail stores already had a mixture of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas products in their aisles. It was an unusual scene to see a turkey with his arm around a witch on one side and Santa Claus on the other with twinkling lights around them.

And how will inflation affect the holiday season? According to Forbes they say, “Inflation is the top concern of holiday shoppers this year, and high prices are causing consumers to recalculate how much they can spend on gifts, and who they will be buying for according to a holiday forecast released recently by professional services firm KPMG.”

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With 85% of consumers surveyed concerned about inflation, they expect to spend more on Christmas presents this year but get less gifts in return – either because they can’t buy as much for their dollars or because they’ll be buying gifts for fewer people.

The survey also pointed out that folks are interested in going into the actual stores again to shop now that they feel the worse of the pandemic is over.

In Lansing, the Christmas tree is already in place at the state Capitol. The 63-foot spruce was harvested in Clinton County and selected by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The tree was donated by Mary Ann and Caitlin Beck in St. Johns. It’s the first Christmas tree from Clinton County and the tree was delivered to Lansing before Halloween on October 29th. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place on November 18th.

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What about your own tree? Readers Digest reports that Christmas tree prices will be going up this year. Consumer Reports says the average prices of a tree in 2020 was $81 and about the same last year. However, the Real Christmas Tree Board survey reported that 71% of the growers that they talked to (who supply more than 2/3 of the country’s Christmas trees) said they’ll likely be a wholesale price increase of 5 to 15%. That’ means your $81 tree will cost you more like $100 this year.