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Getting (or giving) carded, by the numbers

So what makes the best gift? One that took hours to select and carefully wrap? Or the quick and no-hassle gift card? It's a debate many of us are having.

So what makes the best gift? One that took hours to select and carefully wrap? Or the quick and no-hassle gift card? It's a debate many of us are having.

Gift cards, no doubt, are catching on big-time. This holiday season, gift-card sales are expected to top $24 billion. But gift-giving purists fail to see anything special about a card with its value stamped so visibly on it.

Some gift-card stats:

* $24.8 billion: total gift card sales this holiday season

* $116.51: average amount consumers will spend on gift cards this year

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* $88.03: average amount consumers spent on gift cards last year (2005)

* 79.7 percent: consumers who said they plan to purchase at least one gift card this holiday season

* 52.8 percent: consumers who said they would like to receive a gift card this year.

* 79.7 percent: consumers who said they planned to purchase at least one gift card this holiday season.

* 52.8 percent: consumers who said they would like to receive a gift card this year

Chicago Tribune

Source:

National Retail Federation

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