What Are The Favorite Holiday Gifts for 2012?

The latest U of St. Thomas Holiday Spending Sentiment Survey reveals a somewhat surprising new leader.

You could be seeing more green this holiday season than just your Christmas tree.

A new survey released this month says that money is the most popular gift category this holiday season,  according to the 11th annual University of St. Thomas Holiday Spending Sentiment survey.

The survey predicts Twin Cities consumers for the 2012 holiday season will increase their overall spending 10 percent from year ago _ with Rosedale Center  still one of the top destinations for shoppers. 

Translated another way: Shoppers plan to spend $773 per household gifts, up from $703 last year, according to the survey. The survey researchers created an index to analyze the relative popularity of 14 gift categories, shedding light on the "What's hot?" question.
The categories -- listed by most-popular first -- are:

  • 1.Cash
  • 2. Clothing and accessories
  • 3. Gift certificates 
  • 4. Travel
  • 5.Computers and related items
  • 6. Books
  • 7.Toys and hobbies
  • 8. Entertainment
  • 9. Video games and related items
  • 10. Furniture and home furnishings
  • 11. Sporting goods
  • 12. Cell phones
  • 13. Consumer electronics
  • 14. Jewelry

The researchers said that cash moved to the top of the list after finishing in fourth place last year. Gift certificates had ranked No.1 for the past four years; this time fell to No. 3. .

One category that has fallen in the last couple years is books. They were ranked No. 2 in 2010,  fell to No. 5 last year and ranked No. 6 this year.  "The decline could be related to e-book readers and tablets," the survey researchers said. 

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