Yes, Virginia, this is a health blog. So call the shortage of Christmas lights a mental health crisis.
It's a Recession Tree. Richard Knox/NPR
There are no Christmas tree lights to be bought in Boston. Well, almost none. Not at multiple outlets that usually overwhelm with every kind of twinkle and flash you could imagine. Not at Home Depot, CVS, Target, Walmarts, Walgreens, Macy's.
We discovered this when our tree was two-thirds lit. The rest of our considerable light stash was dead. Sure as socks go missing, Christmas tree lights mysteriously die (of neglect?) up in the attic between from one season and the next. No prob, usually.
So we can't help wondering if this crisis is national. Folks in Chicago, seems to have had the same bad luck. And no, crisis is not too strong a word at the end of a year when we all yearn for some cheer.
And we wonder just what economic forces made all these reliable retailers decide to understock Christmas tree lights this recession-plagued year. At this point, we'll hand off the story to our colleagues at Planet Money.
And, yes, after scouring the region our daughter finally found some strings of lights at the Christmas Tree Shop (duh). Made in China, of course.
Best of luck to the rest of you.