Found out why the economy might have Rudolph guiding a lighter sleigh this Holiday season.

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Head to the Mall of Louisiana and you will find shoppers preparing Christmas gifts far before Thanksgiving. Look online and see Black Friday deals weeks before Black Friday. 

Christmas always tends to come early, and premature Holiday shopping is nothing new. 

This year, however, Louisiana residents will be taking a bigger chunk out of their savings than usual.

Inflation went up 6.2% last month, the largest spike since 1990, according to uschamber.com.

Some shoppers fear that rising costs, supply chain issues and high gas prices will make gift-giving in 2021 a tough task.

Sam Stonecipher is one shopper who predicts that stores will target holiday customers with unusually high prices.

"I think people are freaking out because they're trying to get somewhat of a better deal," Stonecipher said. "Whereas stores are going, 'OK, we're going to price gouge you by 50%, and then give you a 50% discount.'"

Along with many other Baton Rouge residents, Stonecipher fears that economic issues could last through the holiday season—some are even calling it "the most expensive Christmas."

"When is this inflation gonna end? How is it gonna end? Is it just gonna get worse?" Stonecipher wondered.

His line of questioning isn't misguided, Christmas provides more for your health than you think.

According to a study conducted in 1989, it's psychologically proven that early festive people are friendlier and more open to social connections.

So, will Baton Rouge see empty stockings and spoiled smiles for the holidays?

According to Andrew Fitzgerald, SVP of Business Intelligence at Baton Rouge Area Commerce, due to supply chain issues, more people will shop in-person to ensure their item is in stock. Fitzgerald also thinks that because of this, stores will take advantage of patrons and raise their prices.

"I do think that in terms of supply and demand, the harder it is to get stuff in, the more stores can just sell it for what they want. So I think you will see price increases," Fitzgerald said.

In terms of how Baton Rouge is doing in that area, Fitzgerald explains that the city will see less price gouging than other places, due to less supply chain issues.

LSU students and faculty travelling out of state for the holidays should be wary and watch out for bad deals. 

With regard to how long this economic recession will last, Fitzgerald foresees a quick recovery. 

"The recovery's gonna be a lot quicker, people will get back to where they were financially a lot sooner than previous recessions," Fitzgerald said.

However, his timeline comes from an economic standpoint, making the recovery seem quick. In reality, the late 2022 estimate might seem fairly long for most people.

Concluding that Christmas will most likely cost a lot this year, know that the price of gifts is sure to be the "white elephant" in the room.

If you're looking to buy presents this year, you might want to start your search now. Make sure to check your local deals, then check them twice.