I always here a lot about people returning gifts after Christmas and I can’t figure out why. I’ve never returned a gift and no one I have given gifts to has ever had to return one my gifts. So what are people doing wrong? Maybe I should pass on some of my philosophy to those poor souls who no sooner got off the checkout line only to be standing in the returns line today.
I try to think of gifts that will not need to be returned and that will vary from individual to individual on your list. A nice sweater that’s a neutral color can always be used at some point. In fact, the winter has just started and there are months of cold weather ahead, so a new sweater should be very useful. Books are great if you know what a person is interested in. A little snooping can go a long way to keeping you off the return line. The same goes for cds and dvds. If you know what television shows or movies, old or new, that someone on your list loves, you can always pick up one or two of those. Even boxed sets of a whole season are reasonably priced and provided hours of enjoyment on those snowed in days. If money is no object, jewelry is always nice for women and silver is still not too costly and makes a very nice gift.
When it comes to gifts for yourself you should drop lots of hints so you don’t get anything you have to exchange. Be subtle, but get the point across. For example, “that’s a very nice blouse you are wearing, I could use a couple of those myself.” Or, “Bewitched was my favorite show when I was a kid, but I never get to see reruns of it on television.” If you are talking to men you may have to be less subtle and mention it a couple of times to get what you want.
Haven’t we wasted enough time and money in stores before Christmas? The only things I would go back for are half priced items and wrapping paper on sale for next year. I’ve noticed the whole month of January there are some great sales and no one is in the stores. I happen to have three birthdays to buy for and I can get twice as many things for my money than any other time of the year.
And when in doubt, gift cards to a person’s favorite store are available everywhere, even drug stores carry them. Most teenagers today prefer to buy their own things anyway, so why not make them happy? Beware of the prepaid credit cards though. Even though they can be used everywhere, they charge you to buy them. What’s the point when every store you can think of has their own gift card at no additional charge.
Good luck with your returns, I’ll be sitting right here when you get back!