A slight boost in holiday shoppers' moods could help lift the retail sector, according to a new survey commissioned by the Discover Card. Researchers asked more than 1,000 Americans about their gift giving plans, revealing an uptick in the typical household holiday budget for 2010. Most households plan to budget $730 for gifts this year, with only 38% of respondents saying they planned to spend less this season than last.

More than two in five Americans surveyed said they hoped to receive some of the hottest personal electronic gadgets as holiday gifts this year, with smart phones, game consoles, touch-screen tablets high on consumers' wish lists. Roughly the same number of respondents told researchers they planned to give apparel, toys, and DVDs to family and friends.

While three in five respondents said they intended to pay for this year's holiday gift list in cash, 23% of Americans surveyed told researchers they plan to use credit cards for their year-end shopping bills. 2% of respondents planned to redeem credit card reward points to cover last minute gifting.

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joe

Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.