It's coming up to Christmas and for many of us that means buying presents for family. If you're in this situation, "what to buy?" becomes the most pressing question in your Christmas shopping expeditions. But what if you could take a quick look at the online shopping wish lists of your loved ones - it could take the decision-making right out of your hands!

Of course not everyone has an online shopping wish list, which is why in this post we present a list of 10 cool social shopping wish list sites. Why not forward onto your family and friends :-)

We started by asking the friends of ReadWriteWeb on Twitter for suggestions. Using myself as a use case, ideally I want somewhere to add stuff I want to buy - whether that's in the short or long term. I'd also like to see what others want to buy too, which could be my friends or simply people I don't know who also want to buy the same things as me.

1. Amazon Wish Lists

A few people mentioned Amazon Wish Lists, in many ways the benchmark for shopping wishlists. Joshua Porter, Interface designer and strategy consultant for social web apps, tweeted that Amazon Wish Lists let users add stuff and see what others added, however "they don't do much around exposing/aggregating wish lists publicly."

Amazon is pretty good at promoting this feature - currently they have a page describing how users can get their Wish List holiday-ready. They also recently released something called Universal Wish List, which allows users to add products from any website to their Amazon Wish List with one click.

2. Giftag

In September we blogged about Giftag, a social shopping service that uses open standards. Created by leading retailer Best Buy, Giftag is a browser plugin that lets you make online wishlists and share them with your friends. The technology will be integrated into Best Buy's web site in the coming months. Specifically, Giftag uses the microformat hProduct - an emerging data standard that is embedded in (X)HTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. It's similar to the microformats hListing and hReview. There's also a Facebook app. A word of warning though: one of our commenters noted some privacy issues with Giftag.

3. Wists

Phil Bradley suggested Wists, a site that has been around for some time now. It aims to "make publishing or sharing lists of recommendations and wishlists easier and more appealing than maintaining a weblog and not tied to one particular store." Wists was founded by David Galbraith, a long-standing member of the blogging and RSS community.

4. Boxedup

Chris Osborne suggested the startup he co-founded, boxedup (also noted by @itamarw). It's a well-designed social wishlist site, where you can import your Amazon Wish List and then use a browser plug-in to add new items. There's also a Facebook app.

I found it easy to add things into my Boxedup list; I was impressed enough that I will probably continue to use this one.

5. ThisNext

Cwellhouser suggested ThisNext, a social shopping site where "where "trendsters" recommend cool products online". It's a colorful site and obviously aimed at the young and hip demographic. It's described as "a shopcasting network where you can discover great products based on our members' recommendations." It looks like a great site to find a cool present for your younger sister or brother perhaps - a Juicy Couture Charm Bracelet is currently the rave.

6. Wishpot

Wishpot (suggested by Colm Brophy) aims to "makes it easy for you to shop anywhere, keep all your finds in one place, connect with friends, and discover the hottest deals." Wishpot has teamed up with Shopping.com to offer price comparison across a range of retailers. It also has price alerts, a now common way for shopping websites to alert their users when an item goes on sale or reaches a target price.

7. Kaboodle

Sherry Main suggested Kaboodle. As we reported back in August 2007, Kaboodle was acquired for $30M+ by Hearst. We'd reviewed the site before, noting that it had a clean UI and a comprehensive feature set. Users can collect shopping items from many sites using the Kaboodle toolbar. The items can then be organized into collections, reviewed and shared with other users.

8. Wishli.st

wishli.st is a British site "where users can make a list of the presents they would like and share it with friends and family who can then buy items from the list or contribute money towards particular items." An example wishlist is that of founder David Haywood Smith.

9. FriendShopper

FriendShopper claims to be "the first real time social shopping application online, where users can shop any store across the web and communicate about those products effectively and easily." It was recently featured on AltSearchEngines, where it was explained that users need to install a "bookmarklet" - a button that sits in their browser. From there users can bookmark items and share them with their friends. Items can be added into a chat window too.

10. Froogle

Ashutosh Nilkanth pointed out Google's Froogle, which has a Shopping List page. It's a typically minimalist design, but has the advantage of a large number of reviews on popular products, ratings by presumably an even larger number of people, excellent price comparison features, and the general data thoroughness we've come to expect of Google.

Add Yours Here

These are 10 of our favorite social shopping wish lists, but we're sure to have missed some of your favorites. Please add to the list in the comments.