Two totally unrelated items about economics and Christmas:
- Daniel Gross writes in Slate that Christmas tree sales are a good concurrent indicator of consumer spending during Christmas.
- Christmas lights and timers. With the invention of the little LED Christmas lights that use very little electricity, it probably makes no sense to buy a $30 outdoor timer that will turn the lights off during the day. I haven't done the calculations, but I can readily imagine that leaving even 120 of these lights on for 24 hours a day for a month adds no more than a few dollars to the electricity bill. So why bother with a timer? In fact, if the prices represent the opportunity costs of using the scarce resources in various ways, it would downright anti-social and inefficient to buy a timer for these lights.