The National Retail Federation is predicting sales to reach $451.5 billion for the year, the largest year-over-year increase since 2006.
It is believed this year's sales jumped 3.3 percent over last year's numbers.
The largest holiday retail sales year ever was 2007, which saw a return of $452.8 billion.
On the heels of weak holiday sales in 2008 and 2009, this year's numbers are surprising.
"We thought this Christmas might be one and a half to two percent above last year. These are pretty extraordinary numbers," Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, said.
The increase in retail sales will have an impact far beyond the individual businesses.
"This is a big deal. It's a big deal. It's a positive sign," Mac Clouse, a professor of finance at the Daniels College of Business at University of Denver, said. "If the spending is going on that means the goods and services are purchased off the shelves. That means the producers are going to have to produce more and ultimately they're going to have to purchase capital and they'll have to hire people."
The strength of the holiday retail sales could result in ramping up the speed of the economic recovery.
"We knew this recovery was going to come," Clark said. "We did not expect it at Christmas. We expected it in the late half of 2011. An early Christmas present and a good looking 2011 are really welcomed by all of us."
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)