Saturday, November 27, 2021

It's the time of year when there's a shortage of business news -

- but happily there's no shortage of news about holiday-themed shortages.

For starters, Christmas tree supplies are tight, and this is both a covid problem and a climate change problem:

The American Christmas Tree Association has said this year’s supply of real Christmas trees will be squeezed by the summer’s heat dome in the Pacific Northwest, while supplies of artificial trees, largely coming from China, will be affected by the same shipping and labor problems plaguing many industries.

And apparently some of the problems can be blamed on ... *squints* ... Lehman Brothers?

Hundley of the National Christmas Tree Association said there is one reason for the tighter stocks this year that has nothing to do with the pandemic or the world’s supply chain headaches: During the financial crisis of 2008, many growers didn’t have the capital to plant a lot of trees, and national plantings dipped.  “The previous financial crisis caused fewer to be planted, so we don’t have an oversupply right now. It’s a supply that matches demand,” he said. 

It also seems that covid has come for Santa:

The pandemic hit the Santa Claus community hard, for obvious reasons: Many of the men who play the role are at high risk in the covid-19 pandemic, because of their age. The Santa physique (see: "bowl full of jelly") tends to check off a not-so-nice list of potential co-morbidities, starting with a high BMI.

“Several hundred Santas and Mrs. Clauses, over the last 18 months, have passed away, and it’s just a tragedy,” says Allen, though he cautions that not all of those deaths may have been attributable to covid-19. Other Santas, wary of the risks of being around germy, potentially unvaccinated children, have decided to sit yet another pandemic holiday out, or retire.

Santa Tim Connaghan, who goes by the honorific “National Santa” for his role in major parades and as the Santa for Toys for Tots, surveys his brethren annually and reports that 18 percent of the surviving Santas are taking the year off. He is taking fewer bookings this year to spend more time with family....

Connaghan has deployed Santa’s wife in areas where no Santa can be found…. But, she, too, is in short supply.

Apparently, this means people have to accept stripped-down Santas without luxury add-ons:

Bryant signed a contract for $320 for two hours of a fake-bearded Santa — “If we wanted one with a real beard, it would have been like, a hundred dollars more.”

And then there's the most troubling situation of all:

A dire shortage in glass bottles is forcing some winemakers to let wine age in wooden barrels for too long, which can lead to the drink tasting "like a sawmill," Phil Long, the owner of Longevity Wines in Livermore, California, told Insider.

Long has cobbled together a supply of bottles by purchasing extra glass from wineries with some to spare, and has even resorted to buying bottles bearing another vineyard's name....

Chris Wachira, owner of Wachira Wines, said her business hasn't been able to send wine to members of their wine club because they don't have enough glass bottles to pour the wine into.

Happily, this is one crisis I know how to solve.

Ann Lipton | Permalink


That last one sounds like Luke 5:33-39 come to life.

Posted by: kotodama | Nov 27, 2021 7:45:54 PM

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