Whenever you go to Amazon, the site shows you some of the last items you looked at. The idea is that if you see that shirt, frying pan, or epic novel again, you might decide to bite the bullet and make a purchase. It's an OK idea in theory, but when the last item you looked at happens to be a gift you're researching for a loved one or something else you'd prefer to not broadcast to the world that you were looking at on the site, the tracking feature can be a bit problematic.
If you'd rather not having Amazon track your shopping habits (or you need to do a little holiday shopping on the down low) then you can actually turn the feature off, so Amazon can no longer track you. There are certainly some other ways to make this happen as well, but this solution is baked into Amazon's site.
If you like the tracking (I actually find it helpful sometimes to find the exact thing I was looking at again), then you can also go in and remove individual items from our shopping history, so that surprise gift won't show up in results and ruin your gift.
Here's how to make it happen:
Log into your account on Amazon's website.
Click on "Your Account" at the top of the page and select "Your Recommendations" from the drop-down menu.
At the top of the next page, select "Your Browsing History".
On the far right you'll see "Manage History" click on that to reveal the button to toggle browsing history off or on, there's also a button to Remove all items.
If you want to remove individual items, you can do that by clicking the "Remove" button below that item within your history.
That's it. If you clear your browser's cookies, then the setting will default back to tracking, so you'll need to do it all over again. When it comes to stealth holiday shopping though, this should definitely come in handy.