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Father's Day: It's about more than ugly ties

By ALLISON MILES
June 16, 2011 at 1:16 a.m.

Lilian Arredondo

HOT GIFTS FOR FATHER'S DAY

Wondering what the hot gifts are this year and how much, nationwide, people will spend on them? Here's a closer look:

Special outings: $2.1 billion

Gift cards: $1.4 billion

Clothing: $1.4 billion

Home repair or gardening tools and appliances: $1.4 billion

Electronics: $1.3 billion

Sporting goods: $653 million

Books or CDs: $598 million

Automotive Accessories: $593 million

Source: National Retail Federation news release

What are your plans for Father's Day?

"I want to get him a fishing pole."

-Braydon Hernandez, 5, Victoria

"I want to get him a motorcycle and a workshop."

-Lilian Arredondo, 4, Victoria

"We're going to our grandpa to his favorite place, to go golfing. He likes to do that with us."

-Cristian and Cristopher Rodriguez, 9, Victoria

"I usually make decorations and cards for my grandpa and dad. We'll go to eat, too."

-Penelope Greco, 6, Victoria

"I'd like to give him a card. One that I can make."

-Jill Garner, 5, Victoria

Jadan Piglionni might not know exactly what to get his dad this Father's Day, but he knows how he'll package it.

"I want to make him a present but I need to find a box and open the top and put it inside," the 4-year-old said, miming his plans with his hands. "I'll close it and put colors on the box."

He still has a little time to figure out the rest.

Father's Day is Sunday, which means the clock is ticking for those still looking for that perfect gift.

People will spend an average $106.49 on the holiday this year, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch. That's up from last year's $94.32, and the highest amount reported in the survey's eight-year history, according to a retail federation news release.

Total Father's Day spending nationwide is estimated to reach $11.1 billion.

Kids have bigger plans for their fathers this year than in the past, said Phil Rist, BIGresearch's executive vice president of strategic initiatives, in the news release.

"Shoppers are putting more thought into Father's Day gifts and are seeking out the perfect personal - yet practical - gift to say thank you to the man who's always been there for them," he said.

A variety of gifts sold at Victoria All-Sports Center this year, said Chad Hester, who works at the store.

Guns, fishing supplies and gun safes all made the list, he said, but another item, which offers Dad a bit more control over his gift, also sold well.

"A lot of people are buying gift certificates," Hester said. "We've seen a lot of that this year."

T-shirts and mugs went over big at Victoria Harley-Davidson, said Lauren Richardson, a store employee. Others with a bit more cash in their pockets opted for motorcycle parts.

"Those are kind of expensive, though," she said. "Really, people are buying the smaller things."

Clothing is always the top Father's Day gift at JC Penney, said Brian Patteson, the store's manager, but other gift items sold, too.

Summer items were the rage at Target, said Mike Yokum, the store's manager. With kids getting out of school, swimsuits, water toys, charcoal grills and gardening items all sold well.

"Anything having to do with water is hot," he said.

Electronics also tend to sell well during the holiday, Yokum noted.

As for Jadan, he's got one other holiday plan up his sleeve that won't fit inside that well-planned box: a trip to Golden Corral.

"My dad will like it," he said.

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