The Holiday Lights Theory of Economics is based on my observations of many holiday seasons, especially the winter holidays, during the past 20 years.
I’ve noticed that when the economy is getting better (or, at least, people are feeling that it is getting better), more people decorate the outsides of their homes with holiday lights. I’ve noticed more homes with lights, and I’ve noticed more lights on those homes which feature lights.
This year I’ve seen a major uptick in holiday lights in the Taos, New Mexico area—many more lights in this area than I’ve seen in seven or eight years. In the holiday seasons of 2016 and 2017, I saw more lights than previous years. People were definitely more optimistic than they had been for 8 to 10 years.
I noticed this same phenomenon when I lived in Fairfield, Iowa. There were up years (more lights) and down years (less lights). And the lights trended up when the economy was better and trended down when the economy was not in great shape.
My theory? When people are more optimistic, they take the time to do more holiday decorating. They showcase their optimism via lights on the outsides of their homes.
The conclusion: There are more holiday lights this year. Look for an uptick in the economy during the next year.
My prediction: You will sell more books in 2020 (updated for this year). People always read more books when they are happy, hopeful, and prosperous.