CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Have you heard of the phrase "Christmas creep? This is when it's not even Thanksgiving yet and stores are already selling Christmas decorations.
While you might usually wait until after Thanksgiving to get into the holiday spirit, this year you could regret not doing it sooner.
Here are the three things you need to know to keep your Christmas merry and not scary:
1. There is a Christmas tree shortage.
Tree farms across the country including those in the Carolinas have fewer trees to go around. Unprecedented weather events like fires, droughts and heatwaves have cut Christmas tree crops across the country.
2. Prepare to pay more.
When and if you find your perfect tree, it's most likely going to cost you more this year. Demand for trees hasn't changed, but supply has -- which means you’ll probably be paying more this year for the same type of tree than you did last year.
3. Live trees aren’t the only issue.
There's also a shortage of artificial trees and Christmas decorations.
The American Christmas Tree Association said some retailers are already increasing their prices for holiday products by at least 20%.
Issues with the U.S. supply chain is causing delays in the shipping of products and once those products are available, costs to ship them have also increased.
Here's the bottom line: shop early this year and prepare to pay more.
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