With December, the festive season has officially arrived. We’re in full preparation mode for Christmas and New Year’s, decorating our homes, buying presents and thinking about possible menus for when our families and friends come over. And if there’s one element that can’t miss in our homes this time of year, it’s a Christmas tree. It’s usually at the center of attention these days and decorating the tree is kind of a tradition in many households. With a hot chocolate or a glass of wine in hand, we detangle the lights, try not to break the glass ornaments and discuss whether or not the tree is standing exactly right. Oh, the joy of putting up the Christmas tree.
Yet for those living in the United States or Canada, this year might be a bit different than usual. The pandemic has influenced the majority of our lives lately and when it comes to Christmas and all traditions surrounding the holy day, it’s no different. So believe it or not, due to Covid-19, you might not be able to get your hands on a tree this year. And if you do, chances are you’ll have to pay much more for them than you’re used to.
This might seem a bit strange as a consequence of a health crisis but believe us, there’s a good explanation for all of it. First of all, let’s talk about the plastic kind of trees, which about 80% of American households use. Most of these trees are produced in China and therefore have to be shipped pretty much from the other side of the world. Normally this isn’t much of a problem (if you don’t think about the ecological cost, that is) but this time around, it is. The ship which was supposed to bring the trees to America got stuck in the Panama Canal, which means the route now leads via the East. Due to these delivery problems, a plastic tree might cost you four times as much as usual.
And what about the real trees, you ask? They don’t have to travel all the way from China, so what’s the problem, right? Well, for starters, the transport costs rose quite a bit during the pandemic, which already means they’ll be more expensive than before. And on top of that, multiple tree farms were hit by forest fires, meaning there are a lot less trees on offer than usual. So all in all, whether you want to buy a fake tree or a real one, better be prepared to get your credit card out.