Ready or not, the holiday shopping season has begun.
Americans will spend more than $678 billion dollars in the last two months of 2017 as they hunt for holiday gifts, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation, which excludes spending on cars, gasoline and restaurants. That's about $1,000 dollars per consumer.
The expected 3.6 percent to 4 percent increase in spending from last year "reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry," said Matthew Shay, the CEO of the retail trade group, in a press release.
One big bonus for retailers this year is that Christmas falls on a Monday, giving last-minute shoppers an extra weekend day to complete their shopping lists — and potentially splurge on themselves.
But parents, wanting to make sure their children get the items they've been wishing for, may not want to postpone their shopping.
Parents Magazine put together a list of toys they tested with kids. The children come to the company's office in New York City and Parents Magazine editors watch to see which ones are the favorites.
Here's a few picks from their top 50 list.