Merry Christmas!

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(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Even I don’t want to talk about money today. Some of you are not celebrating Christmas today and you may be heading out to a Chinese restaurant or a movie. But for many there was bedlam this morning.

By now the house is probably quiet, the presents have been opened, some of the toys already discarded or broken, and the trash bags are full. The smallest of the clan are playing with the boxes and ignoring the expensive educational toys.

People have begun to make piles of their loot. In the perfect world everyone would have loved the gifts you gave them and everything would fit perfectly.

But we’re not in the perfect world are we? So one of those piles is of stuff that needs returning. If the recipient wants to return the item and get something else, give them the receipt- hopefully you still have the receipt- and let them get something different. That’s so much easier on you.

Most stores offered gift receipts that you could stick in with the gifts. But if you didn’t get one try to find the original receipt. Even though the tag or box may say Macy’s and they know it’s their merchandise you may not be able to get the original price you paid.

The store policy is to give a refund at the lowest sale price if there is no sales slip. And that is a fair policy. I really don’t find any fault with that. But if you bought your daughter a coat in November for $150 and her mother-in-law also gave her a coat for Christmas she is going to ask you if it’s okay to return yours. You’re easier to deal with.

Without a receipt she may only get a refund of $99. What the coat sold for last weekend when the store had a major sale.

So spend some time looking for your receipts. Label them and have them ready when someone asks if you mind if they return that plaid raincoat or the reindeer slippers you gave them. Also many stores are asking that the returns be made in the original packaging.

The receipts also give you an idea just how much you actually spent on Christmas. So you may want to spend a few minutes tallying it all up, not today, tomorrow will do and perhaps setting up a budget for next year using a Christmas Club so you will have the dollars in November when you start shopping.

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