So, I asked Mesirow Financial's chief economist Diane Swonk, always level-headed and always there with fact in hand. But she couldn't prove it either. However, anecdotally, she agrees with me.
"There's no question the tinsel is back on the tree," she said.
"It's the best holiday in four years in terms of growth, and we are starting to see, especially at the high end, there's a willingness to be conspicuous again," she said.
She in fact had her own story of decorating in early December. She needed new lights and had to run out to get them in the middle of decorating, and she found the type she needed were already sold out at her local store.
Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder, who follows stores like Wal-mart and Home Depot , said he has no hard numbers to prove my theory but he does a survey at the end of December that shows the trend in the sales of holiday seasonal items. We definitely will check back with him. Binder wasn't ready to jump on board the whole Christmas light indicator theory, but he did say sales of decorations should be better this year, and so should retail sales.
"'08 was pretty ugly. '09 was somewhat better, and I'm expecting 2010 to be even better," he said.
My final stop was General Electric , parent of CNBC. It happens to have a lighting division, and they do know their Christmas lights! Of course, the lights are brighter this year, they tell me. That's because there are more of the new LED lights adorning homes.
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