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Here's How 3 Investors Are Handling Supply Chain Shortages this Holiday Season

By Rachel Warren, Jon Quast, and Toby Bordelon – Dec 8, 2021 at 10:00AM

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Consumers might need to start their Christmas shopping earlier this year.

With supply chains experiencing record delays and shortages, shoppers might have to get a little more creative this holiday season. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Nov. 12, Motley Fool contributors Toby Bordelon, Rachel Warren, and Jon Quast discuss supply chain issues with respect to Christmas trees and decorations.

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Toby Bordelon: I saw an article today. We talked about supply chain and how it's impacting a lot of stuff. I saw an article today saying real Christmas trees are actually in short supply this year and people should buy early. Now, there's a lot of things we're buying early, might be fine advice.

The problem with a Christmas tree though is we're talking about a real live tree you're going to stick in your living room. You cut it, you stick it in your living room. If you do that too early, it might be brown before Santa comes down your chimney and that is no fun. You want it to still be alive for Santa's visit.

Where do you guys fall on this? Just in general. Do you prefer real tree for Christmas? Do you go with artificial tree? Because of supply chain issue, particularly are you doing anything different this year? If not a tree, you guys can use any other decorations. Are there any other decorations you'd like to create in holiday season that you'd be upset when if you couldn't get them because of supply chain issues. Let me start with you, Rachel.

Rachel Warren: I've always had artificial trees and even now into my adulthood, that's what I've done. I guess that aspect might not impact me as much. It's funny because I travel a lot so I don't always have my tree with me. [laughs] But at my parents' house, I have stored this tree that I've had for many years and I just sort of, if I'm around I'll pull it out and put lights on it. But I think the one area no matter where I'm in the world and I have my little artificial tree, I always put lights on.

Usually those lights have died after the previous year. They worked great the previous year and then you pull them out and half of them are working. I feel like that's something I might need to plan ahead for because I feel like perhaps if I go to the store, I decorate in a month or so, there might not be new lights for me to get because maybe everyone will have planned ahead. I'm trying to think.

Usually for autumn, I always use ones that I've had for a really long time. The biggest thing would be the light. Yes, if I pull all my lights from storage and they are not working or half of them aren't working, I may be in trouble. [laughs]

Toby Bordelon: Yeah, that might be a problem. What about you, Jon?

Jon Quast: Toby, my family is far too practical and frugal to go with anything, but an artificial tree that we can reuse year-after-year. [laughs] I'm of the opinion that the Christmas tree does not come out until maybe Thanksgiving Day, but probably the day after Thanksgiving. I was sitting in my office the other day and I was browsing Facebook and I found out on Facebook that that was not happening in my house this year.

The tree was going up, and so I came out of the office and it turns out my wife had set up the Christmas tree. We're already celebrating Christmas here at this house, so we do not apparently wait until the last minute.

Good thing that we do have an artificial tree and not a real one because like you said, it's going to wind up looking like the Peanut's Christmas tree at the end, where Lucy says, "You were supposed to get a good tree. Can't you even buy a good tree, Charlie Brown."

One of the things I really do like is Christmas lights. I don't like putting them up, but I do like going around and looking at them. If people didn't put up Christmas lights this year for whatever reason, I think that would make me a little sad.

Toby Bordelon: Yeah, I'd be sad too. Viewers, get your lights early. Make sure you've got enough lights, make Jon happy.

Like Rachel mentioned, you don't want to find out half of your lights are dead when you put on, so maybe go buy a few spare lights, maybe even before Thanksgiving, who knows what's going to happen with those. Since we moved to Reno about four years ago, we've always cut our own tree. We had in the national forest cut the tree, bring it back home.

Got the permit for this year, ready to go, we're planning on heading out over Thanksgiving week and get ourselves tree. Talking about supply chain, it's just half an hour from the forest to my house so, I'm hoping we don't have any issues with that with all the supply chain issues we are having. That hopefully would still work out. Looking forward to that.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jon Quast has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Rachel Warren has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Toby Bordelon has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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