Inflation raises Christmas costs, with some trees selling for over $100

Christmas Inflation
Posted at 10:56 AM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 13:02:07-05

Gifts and food are costing Americans more this holiday season.

Holiday decorations are costing more, too, with some Christmas trees selling for over $100.

Gary Thomas, who has a sprawling farm near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border, is one of the farmers who has had to raise the price of trees this year — charging more than $100 for one of his finest.

He said he has had to pay more to keep workers in a competitive labor market, and that his supply prices are spiking.

"My prices went up 15% this year on Fraser Fir," he said.

He has worried about what customers will think of his price hikes.

"When I went to this year's price, I thought, 'How much resistance am I gonna get? How many complaints am I gonna get? How many Google reviews are gonna say I charge too much?'"

Christmas tree prices had been expected to increase between 5% and 15% this year compared to last year, according to the Real Christmas Tree Board, a promotion and research organization that is funded by North American Christmas tree growers.

Other holiday decorations are costing more, too.

Kathy Brown, who operates an all-year Christmas store in St. Michaels, Maryland, said she has been impacted by shipping costs. Surcharges and fuel costs are making it pricier to ship merchandise in, and also to ship it out.

The financial strain can also be felt during this year's Christmas dinner.

According to the consumer financial services company Bankrate, key holiday dinner items such asturkey, baking productsand dairy are up between 15 and 25%.

The increase in prices is causing shoppers like Karen Hilton to cut back on some holiday expenses, but not on gifts.

"Everything has gone up and it's not just what you're going to get for the gifts. It's food, it's decorations, it's all the stuff to decorate with, and it goes quick," Hilton said.

Despite inflation hovering at a 40-year high, however, the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales could increase from $942.6 billion to $960.4 billion — an 8% jump from last year.

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