Across the land Christmas morning, it seemed Santa had worked his magic again. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports.
Even though last Friday and Saturday were two of the busiest shopping days all year, Santa was carrying a mixed bag for America's retailers.
"I think what we'll have is some retailers ending up walking around whistling ho, ho, ho, others are going to find a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking this year," said Al Frank of accounting firm Deloitte & Touche.
The winners? Luxury items. If you had the cache, you heard the ka-ching. At the Grove, one of L.A'.s toniest shopping spots, sales were up 8 to 10 percent above last year.
"It started out a little bit slow but the last two weeks have been very strong. The last week has been exceptional," said developer Rick Caruso.
Online shopping was hot and so were electronics: Sony's PlayStation3 and Nintendo's Wii. Flat screen TV sales shot up when retailers marked prices down.
"It's really the best time to buy a tv ever really in the history of televisions," Pat McGann of Best Buy.
For clothing and discount stores, however, the story was just ho, ho, hum. At giant WalMart, sales were up only 1 percent from a year ago. Overall, December sales were up a modest 4.3 percent this year. Last December, sales jumped almost 6 percent.
"It's been a schizophrenic, emotional roller-coaster ride for retailers this year," said Al Frank.
With lackluster sales at the start of the month, retailers feared a rebound would be as likely as snowfall in Los Angeles.
But shoppers could turn out to be real lifesavers after all when the $25-billion they spent on gift cards starts flowing back into retailers pockets.