As wizards of data and statistics, we regularly use our powers to examine consumer behavior and to keep track of big events, such as our analysis of this year’s Olympics and Superbowl.

The booming holiday shopping season fits similar criteria, so we teamed up with our friends at Digitas to look at some of the most interesting data surrounding 2012’s American holiday extravaganza.

Social Buzz

This past Thanksgiving week (November 20th-26th), we listened to over 2.6 million conversations about holiday shopping on social channels. Of those 2.6 million, over 550,000 social shopping conversations occurred on Thanksgiving Day itself.

What are they saying?

It seems that mobiles and tablets enjoyed the top spots on people’s wish-lists, with one third of all buzz containing discussion of tech gadgets, such as the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy sIII

Culture/Entertainment – what we’ve classified as books, movies and theater etc – is also a major talking point, with 22% share of voice, closely followed by clothing at 20%.

Surprisingly, car enthusiasts were the largest demographic chatting up the holiday shopping conversations, slightly ahead of tech lovers and parents.

Who’s shopping and for whom?

It may be the season to be thankful, but it appears 58% of shoppers were actually out to buy things for themselves, leaving just 42% of social conversation excited to shop for others.

Where are they shopping?

Perhaps it’s not much of a surprise, but California is far and away the state where most shoppers are chatting about holiday shopping online. 29% of all Black Friday-related chatter originated in the Silicon Valley state, compared to just 8% from Texas and 6% from New York.

As for shopping destinations of choice, Walmart comes out on top in the store rankings, with just under a quarter (24%) of the share of voice for shopping destinations, edging out Target, Best Buy and Macy’s who had 21%, 14% and 12% respectively.

So there you have it, a quick round up of stats we’ve analyzed over as holiday consumers hit the shopping scene, and a tiny taster of the kind of data available using Brandwatch.