It is anticipated that Christmas shoppers will spend between $678 billion and $682 billion this year in the United States.

That is according to an estimate released earlier in the fall by the National Retail Federation.

The NRF predicted that retail sales in November and December will increase by 3.6 percent from last year’s holiday season.

This estimate did not include anticipated sales for automobiles, gasoline and restaurants.

A survey released by NRF in October indicated that 59 percent of consumers planned to do at least some online shopping during the holiday season. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed indicated they planned to do at least some shopping at department stores, and 54 percent planned to shop at discount stores.

Locally, the executive director of Leavenworth Main Street encourages residents to shop in downtown Leavenworth.

“Shopping downtown can be the most fun and rewarding experience anyone can have,” Wendy Scheidt said.

She said the downtown area has more than 250 businesses including more than 80 boutiques and speciality shops.

She said more than 23 downtown businesses will be open late Thursday.

Earlier this year, retail giant Walmart released a list of top-rated toys based on a reviews by a panel of children. The list included items such as Fingerlings, Soggy Doggy Board Game, Huffy Electric Green Machine Trike and New Bright Radio Control Tumblebee.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR