Working on a digital tablet

Sometimes, one amazingly popular product will define an entire holiday season. Who could forget the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 1998, or the rush on Beanie Babies in 1996? The downright fervor and even scandalous behavior these toys caused (Tickle Me Elmo, in particular, caused some notable shopper-on-shopper violence and was embroiled in some questionable black market dealings) proves that Americans take holiday shopping seriously.

Though the 2012 gift-giving season wasn’t the backdrop for the large-scale toy-based crime that we saw so often in the late 1990s, there were some notably popular products last year. Using online retail giant Amazon’s sales figures, here were three of 2012’s best selling holiday products within their categories:

The Winner in Tablets: Kindle

Tablets in general were a huge winner this year, with Kindles leading the pack. Amazon’s top three electronics sellers were all Kindle device. These electronic readers were popular year-round, but reports show that over 17 million devices were activated on Christmas day. By comparison, only 4 million tablet devices were activated throughout the entire first 20 days of December.

The Winner In Shoes: Uggs

As a testament to these somber days of retail, the closest thing to a Furby riot that 2012 had were reports that Deckers, the company that makes Ugg boats, enjoyed a spike in shares during the holidays. There were early season reports that the wooly boots were doing well, and Amazon reported that Uggs were the winner overall in the shoe category this year. However, despite this late-year sales boost, the company’s stock remained largely down for 2012.

The Winner in Movies: Dr. Suess’ The Lorax 

This holiday season, it was the classic Dr. Suess tale The Lorax that landed Amazon’s top spot. This IMAX version of the beloved children’s book beat out The Dark Knight Rises and the Dark Knight trilogy, which took second and third respectively. Though all three Dark Knight movies did well at the box office, this year it seems that people wanted to give good old family fun for Christmas.