WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- Relatives you barely know and coworkers you can scarcely stand will be expecting gifts this holiday season. It's as good a time to stock up on gift cards as any.According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $23.6 billion on gift cards during the 2009 holiday season. That averages out to $139.91 spent per shopper on 3.5 gift cards worth $39.80 each. That's also down from $147.33 per person in 2008 as shoppers opted for more practical presents, purchased more marked-down products like electronics or apparel or, like 21% of shoppers surveyed by the NRF, found gift cards cold and impersonal.
5 Best Gift Cards for Early Holiday Shopping
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