Consumer Reports Names Hottest Holiday Gifts

The most popular holiday gifts this year are clothes, followed by electronics, gift cards, toys and the ever-popular cash.

According to a new Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, 68% of us plan to give clothes this year. At 62%, gift cards, electronics and toys tie for second most popular gift, with cash next at 58%.

“You can’t fault consumers for focusing on the fundamentals,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “Cash makes a great gift because people can buy something they really need or really want.”

More from the Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll of 2010:

Popular Electronics

  • Video games are the most popular electronics item this year with 39 percent of adults considering giving them as a gift. And in households with kids under 12, over half (59%) plan to do so.
  • Video game accessories are a hot commodity as well. Eighteen percent consider buying them. That’s not too surprising, taking into account the upcoming – and much-anticipated – Microsoft Kinect and Sony Move motion-sensitive controllers.
  • Video games aren’t for everyone. Other popular electronics that people plan on giving this year include MP3 players or iPods (18%), digital cameras (14%), digital photo frames (11%), and GPS devices (10%). Despite lower prices and new 3D technology, only 8 percent of people are planning on giving a TV as a gift.
  • Ten percent of Americans plan to give Wi-Fi-enabled e-book readers and tablet computers this year, up 6 percentage points from last year. Eight percent of adults are considering giving new technology – iPads and other tablet computers – as a gift.

While gift cards are one of the most popular gifts to give (62%), they’re not all that popular to receive. According to Consumer Reports, only 13% of consumers named them as “most wanted”.

Perhaps that’s related to the fact that one in four recipients who received a gift card last year has yet to use it, either because they haven’t had the time (51%) or forgot about it (41%)

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