NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Chanukah begins today at sundown. Christmas is just a little more than three weeks away. So the rush is on to find the perfect gift for that special person in your life.
From purses to perfumes, monsters to mind games, high-tech to low-priced, holiday gift ideas are endless this year.
Recent surveys predict Americans will spend more than $447 billion on gifts this holiday season. This year the average family plans to spend about $690 on the holiday season -- that's up from about $680 last year.
Americans already jumped on a bunch of deals and promotions offered online on Cyber Monday, spending $1 billion and making it the busiest online shopping day ever, according to new data.
Research firm comScore Inc. says revenue rose 16 percent from a year ago to $1.03 billion on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Since the beginning of November, online sales are up 13 percent to $13.55 billion.
Research shows shoppers this season are more inclined to splurge on less practical presents than years past.
People seem to have more of an appetite toward discretionary gifts like jewelry and are departing a little bit from really basic necessities like blue jeans that they were buying a year ago.
CBS 2 HD put together a panel of people, including children, to help pick presents everyone will love.
Tech toys top the list this year. The XBOX 360 Kinect is looking like the big splurge for many this year and the Sony Reader is pretty popular for adults.
Smart phones and accessories, like protective cases or head sets, are among the must-haves for tweens and older. Another hot item is the Spy Tracker remote control car with a video screen on the remote that lets you see in other rooms. Also popular are Paper Jamz flat instruments which are sure to please the performers in your life.
Both parents and kids alike are looking at small digital cameras like the Kodak Playtouch that shoots still pictures or high-definition video. The camera has special effects and even lets you share your shots right from the camera. Even loved ones in other states can get the photos sent straight to a digital frame!
Board games are a good gift for the entire family and there are some great options for all ages.
If you prefer quantity over quality consider purchasing a lot of small gifts. Zhu Zhu Pets are small but still big with the kids, especially with their new armor and princess garb. For children with an artistic side, consider buying them the Friendship Bracelet Maker.
The athletes in your life are sure to appreciate Reeboks Easy Tone Shoes which look like a normal sneaker but are said to shape up your bottom. Wonder Warmers are another option -- they are reusable heating pads used to treat aches and pains.
If you're looking for a simpler way to show your love you can e-mail a Sunnygram which also gets printed and snail-mailed to whoever you send it to.
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