Lump of coal and an orange not so popular this year
Video games and Barbie products are topping the Christmas list for children in the US, according to the National Retail Federation. The US retail body said that video games were the most popular choice for boys' Christmas presents, scoring more than twice the votes as the next choice, Spiderman merchandise.

Perennial girls' favourite Barbie has fought off the challenge from new kids on the block, Bratz dolls. Generic dolls made it into third place. Interestingly, video gaming is the fourth most popular choice for American girls.

Whatever the choice, the NRF is warning shoppers to shop early if they don't want to disappoint their little loved ones. NRF chief executive Tracy Mullin said: 'Parents searching for popular toys this holiday season should consider purchasing before the post-Thanksgiving rush. Retailers have been keeping tight reins on their inventory levels this year, and the hottest toys are always first off the shelves.'