When you are shopping for gifts, have you really sat down and thought about really what gifts people want to receive for Christmas 2013?

Of course your individual case is different. Mom might want to receive gifts for her kitchen. Dad might want to receive photography-related gifts. However, it’s still very interesting to see generally what people want to receive. That’s why I look at the research that’s done by the National Retail Foundation.

Fifty-nine percent of the people would like to receive gift cards for Christmas, closely followed by clothing with 51%.

The great thing is that 8 in 10 people are planning to add gift cards, perhaps as the sole gift, but also part of the whole gift package. According to National Retail Foundation’s Gift Card Spending Survey, holiday shoppers will spend an average of $163 on gift cards, up 4% over the $157 they spent last year and the highest amount in the survey’s 11-year history. I suppose people are starting to overcome the stigma that gift cards are impersonal. After all, it’s just silly that you don’t give gift cards when someone wants to receive them and you want to give them.

What are the choices of gift cards? More than 40% will get department store gift cards, while more than 34% will get restaurant gift cards. Other favorites are coffee joints, electronic store and online merchant gift cards. Some ultra practical people will even give gas gift cards. I can’t blame them; just take a look at the sky-rocketed gas price! I am sure your loved ones would appreciate you helping out in a practical way.

In general, gift givers are pretty in tune with gift receivers. Fifty-nine percent of gift givers are planning to get gift cards, while 61% of them are planning to buy clothing items. However, even though lots of people would like to receive computer and electronics, the people who want to buy are negligible (not big to enough to make the chart). Also, a third of the people will give food items, which are not on the “want to receive” wish list.

Comments? What Christmas gifts are you planning to give and want to receive? Tell us your experience? Do share!