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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Our top trending stories today include: how inflation is causing meat prices to skyrocket, according to toy experts some of your kids toys may hold value and new research listed in the Journal of Environmental Psychology finds people who put their Christmas decorations up early tend to be happier.

The Cost of Meat Skyrockets

Due to recent inflation, meat is now much more expensive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some cuts of meat cost 25% more than they did around this same time last year.

The price of fertilizer, which the U.S. imports from China, is higher this year. This makes it more expensive to grow corn and feed livestock. Since livestock is becoming more costly to feed, meat has to be charged at a higher dollar amount.

Another aspect effecting the cost, is the meat industry is being affected by labor issues as well as low-wage work.

A House of Representatives investigation found the coronavirus infected at least 59,000 meatpacking workers and took the lives of 250.

“It’s been increasingly challenging for these industries to attract a labor force that’s consistent,” Derrell Peel, who teaches agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University and specializes in livestock said. “There’s lots of turnover, which also raises cost.”

The demand for meat has also grown internationally and the meat industry is actively searching for workers to help out.

According to Toy Experts, Some of Your Kids Toys May Hold Value

Toy experts are now advising parents to not immediately throw away their kids old toys when they are done playing with them. They say some toys could hold future value in the collectibles market.

When trying to figure out if your child’s toy is worth the big bucks, Jordan Hembrough, a toy expert and host of the show “Toy Hunter”, gives some tips.

At the top of his list, he says looking for toys associated with a major license, like a comic book or tv show is important.

“For a toy to be collectible and have value on the secondary market, there has to be an emotional attachment to it,” Hembrough said. “It conjures up a memory.”

Hembrough said some examples would be, a Batman or ‘Star Trek’ toy. Franchises that have remarkable staying power bring more value to the toy.

As those popular series release new movies for the next generation, the toys that your kids have now may become even more treasured.

He also added that anything in it’s original packaging sells for a lot more.

New Research Listed in the Journal of Environmental Psychology Finds People Who Put Their Christmas Decorations Up Early Tend to be Happier

New research listed in the Journal of Environmental Psychology showcases people who put up their Christmas decorations early tend to be happier and friendlier.

“The results support the idea that residents can use their home’s exterior to communicate attachment and possibly to integrate themselves into a neighborhood’s social activities,” researchers wrote.

Psychologists say Christmas decorations are nostalgic and bring people back to simpler and happier times. They also say it helps boost dopamine.

Good Housekeeping estimates a healthy Christmas tree will last about five weeks on average. So if you’re putting the tree up early, they advise making sure your watering it the correct amount. Buying a fake tree is also an option for those who choose not to care for a real one.

If you already started putting up Santa, lights and the Christmas tree, consider yourself having a happier mindset than your neighbor next door without an inch of decor.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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