Online shopping activity surged 44% since the beginning of the holiday season, according to Nielsen//NetRatings' Holiday eCommerce Index. More than 156.5 million shopping trips were conducted during the week ending December 8, with shoppers heading online to complete their holiday gift-buying season. Toys and games posted double-digit growth, skyrocketing nearly 129% since the beginning of the 2002 season. Consumer electronics sites recorded a strong showing thus far in 2002, up nearly 87% with 8.9 million shopping trips conducted in the past week. The apparel and virtual department store categories rose 56 and 54%, respectively. Value-oriented sites rounded out the top 5, spiking 48% to 17.8 million shopping trips. The Index is based on total shopping trips at work and at home. A shopping trip is a single visit to an ecommerce site.