Don't you dare laugh either. Economic times ain't what they used to be, and many people are  thinking outside the box this year, and making a quick trip to the automotive stores.

The head of the National Retail Federation says the average car on the road in America is eleven years old. With that, cars tend to break down more often, or at the very least need more "love" than the newfangled jobs. Auto themed gifts are often more affordable, and those gift givers feel an automotive gift will be used lots more than a traditional gift.

According to USA Today, one man in California is giving his Dad a disc brake conversion kit, and his sister in law a set of jumper cables. Another gift giver selected a new set of spark plugs for his friend, while another is giving windshield wipers.

If you have an "off roader", a winch is a great practical gift. Off road drivers often use a winch to haul their vehicle out of mud, snow or sand. For the do-it-yourself-er try an Auto Scanner. They diagnose auto problems by plugging into the car computer's USB port under the dashboard.

For the flashy person on your holiday list, try lug nuts. Most come in hot colors and styles, and are reasonable in price.

Automotive Gift Cards are always useful and sure do come in handy. The cool thing about a gift card is the auto enthusiast can choose exactly what they want, and you don't have to worry about getting the wrong thing.