Christmas Might Be Over, But the Returns are Just Starting!


*Not that you’re ungrateful but…Well, you kind of are. Somebody probably spent money they really didn’t have on something for you and you gave a weak ass smile knowing you were going to take it back first thing in the morning.

I know this from experience. I remember spending my last $40 on a sweater for my daughter a few years back. And no, it wan’t an “ugly sweater” — at least I didn’t think so. She may not have returned it, but she certainly has not worn it.

Another time, I spent $99 on one of those leather organizers for her. Only to learn that the whole digital revolution was just around the corner.

She never used that either.

I can’t wait to see what she does with the sterling silver necklace!

But retailers are expecting quite a show on December 26. According to The Wall Street Journal, UPS alone expects 4M returns the first week of January. Shipping companies might be saying “Yay!” But the poor retailers. Lawd have mercy! Reporter Laura Stevens tells WSJ that more retailers are offering “free shipping” and even making returns easier in store; hoping that when consumers enter the store to return, it will also turn in to a sale.

As per usual, folks will be showing up to return gifts they wished they hadn’t gotten. So although I hate to be the bearer of bad news I just want to give you a heads up. If you just happened to buy any of the gifts below for someone, and truly, time will tell if they returned it or not (here’s one clue: if you don’t see them wearing it or using it in the coming months…):

Here’s some items most likely to be returned post haste (and others you might consider instead!)



Now I know what you’re thinking. Why in the world would ANYBODY return an electronic gadget like a Samsung tablet? Well, because maybe they already have one. Or maybe they want to use the refund on a iPad. In a case such as this, you might want to just go to that same store, a Best Buy or something, and get them a gift certificate for the cost of the item you would have bought.


Oh boy. Makeup is a particularly sticky matter. I mean, usually we women (and now, some fellas, too) usually have to go into the store, to the actual makeup counter, and just go crazy trying on different shades to see what fits our skin tones. So when some well-meaning friend or relative gives you makeup as a gift nine times out of ten you’re not going to like it. But be gracious when accepting it. Because you know first thing tomorrow, your ass is going to be at Sephora cashing it in!


Teens are among the hardest people to shop for. I have an 18-year-old grandson so I know! Thing is, THEY don’t even know what they like. But they are experts on what they don’t like. So think first before giving them that jean jacket. Perhaps the best way to get a clue on this age group that seems to change “likes” on a whim is start talking to them months in advance to learn about THEM as people. So my grandson is an aspiring filmmaker, how bad can a book on the subject be?


RELATED: Wow! Here are some things people WON’T return


RELATED VIDEO: 8 Do’s & Dont’s of Returning Gifts


OK, so you think you know this person pretty well. So you step out there and buy him or her a sweatshirt that says something you believe they might be thinking. But what if you’re wrong? 


But c’mon. All is not lost when it comes to giving. There are plenty of gifts out there that people actually want. It may take just a bit more thought.

Take these for example.

women-spa-toronto says according to a survey by, people are more likely to appreciate and utilize gifts relating to experiences than material possessions. 25% of those polled reported they would love to be gifted some sort of travel opportunity. While they might never get around to using the new gadget you bought them for their man cave, you can be sure your money won’t go to waste if you buy them tickets to a show, sporting event, or weekend getaway.


A family friend and her significant other gave the ultimate Christmas gift to their two middle-school sons when they switched up the bunk beds with cool new single beds (pictured above). Now the two brothers can enjoy growing up even more…Big boy style!


Hey, if your pockets are not suffering, and giving the gift of travel to someone you know is a viable option, why not give the gift of travel to someplace near or far? I can assure you it is something the receiver will remember for a lifetime. It doesn’t have to cost much either now that there are sites like Travel Zoo along with deals popping up unexpectedly in our inbox.


And the most important gift of all would probably, without a doubt, be a surprise visit to someone you love yet haven’t seen in ages. Imagine the look on their face when they open the door and YOU pop out of the proverbial box!

And oh yeah…MY DAUGHTER LOVED THE NECKLACE. She wore it today!

What types of unique gifts did YOU give this year? Show us in the ThisNthat “comments” section.






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