Here is one side effect of COVID-19 that I had not yet thought about; delays in the production, distribution, and shipping of Christmas gifts. According to an article from WCVB titled, “Should you be Christmas shopping now? Everything to know about COVID-19 related delays,” all of these things will have an impact on your Christmas shopping traditions.

I typically start my holiday shopping shortly after Halloween. No crazy shopping sprees that early, but if I see something that would be perfect for a loved one, I’ll buy it and cross one thing off my list so I won’t have to worry about buying them something the week before Christmas.

I’ve never once considered Christmas shopping in July, but that might change in 2020 thanks to the delays in many industries due to the novel coronavirus. According to WCVB, “In the world of retail, those disruptions were felt most strongly in three places: the closure of brick-and-mortar stores, supply shortages, and shipping delays.”

We have no idea if a second wave of COVID-19 will hit in the coming months. This could very well mean that we have to go back under lockdown, and physical stores will have to close once again ahead of the holiday season. So, if you’re like me and prefer to shop in-store rather than online, it wouldn’t hurt to start making that list now and checking things off gradually.

Shopping online is fine too, but know that most sites are backed up with orders and it could get even busier just before the holidays. Plus, the shipping deadlines on packages will probably be even earlier this year for all the reasons mentioned above.

We’re all still trying to navigate the new normal, so just be patient. And for the love of God and everything holy please stay away from Christmas music until November 1.

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