Holiday Gift Data? It’s Just What You Always Wanted! takes

For those who suspect it’s actually better to receive than to give, it’s good to have a man among your holiday-gift benefactors. A couple of polls suggest men are more lavish than women in their gift giving. As summarized on the World Opinion Web site, an American Express survey found

18 percent of men describing themselves

as “indulgent shoppers,” versus 9 percent of women. Similarly, men are more likely than women to say they’ll “splurge” this season (42 percent versus 32 percent). The gap is wider still among men planning a “special splurge” on their significant other (62 percent) and women intending to do the same (35 percent). Meanwhile, a Maritz Poll finds the average man planning to lay out $874 for 17 gifts, while the average woman intends to spend $783 for 24 gifts. When it comes to online spending on holiday presents, Maritz says men will spend $272 (up $51 from last year) and women will spend $225 (down $14). Twenty percent of those polled by Maritz plan to do some of their holiday buying via the Internet. And while e-commerce is sometimes seen as a young person’s game, the steepest rise in incidence of online holiday shopping will be among the 55-64-year-olds. Clothes will be on people’s online shopping lists (cited by 34 percent), along with books (31 percent), toys and electronics (28 percent each). The chart below gives a picture of how Maritz sees people doing their offline buying this season. Amid all this shopping, are home-made presents obsolete? Sixteen percent said they’ll be making gifts—a respectable number, but just half that of last year’s poll.Frank Siteman/Stock Boston/Picture Quest