By Dee Lee

BOSTON (CBS) – So, what is Christmas morning like at your house?

Chaotic for most of us. Folks want to open presents even before breakfast and grabbing a cup of coffee is often impossible if there are small children.

In a couple of hours, the presents have been opened, some of the toys already discarded or broken, and the trash bags are full or wrappings and bows. The smallest of the clan are playing with the boxes and ignoring the expensive educational toys while you finally get your cup of coffee.

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 choose something different.

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.

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 don’t find any fault with that. But if you paid $200 for something and the store is only willing to give a refund of $125 I would be most frustrated also.

At our house, I slip the gift receipt or the actual receipt in the box with the gift. Yes, the recipient knows how much I may have paid for the gift but if something needs to be returned they can take it back and choose something else. That saves me a trip and standing in line.

If you don’t want to do that, gather up all those receipts and label them and have them ready if someone asks if you mind if they return that plaid raincoat or the bunny 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 spent on Christmas. So, you may want to spend a few minutes tallying it all up and perhaps setting up a budget for next year using a Christmas Club so you will have the dollars next November when you start shopping.

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