Ten Items to Buy After Christmas Returns


christmas returnsI hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas.  My family and I had a blast getting together on Christmas Eve, when my parents throw a huge party inviting all of their friends and extended family over.  First, my mom serves an incredible Italian dinner.  Then, the best course comes, her famous chocolate chip cookies.  I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without complaint.


While looking forward to those delectable cookies, even more so, I enjoy catching up with people I haven’t seen in awhile.  There are always amazing stories to be heard and grand plans for 2017.  My parents have some truly inspiring friends.  


A New Addition to the Family

I have to say that the highlight of the season this year was my newborn nephew being born on December 19.  My wife and I found an adorable Santa outfit for him to wear, and he looked extra cute.  I have to admit that I am probably a bit biased, but he has some good-looking genes :).  


Giving and Getting Gifts

As much fun as Christmas Eve is, the little kid in me still loves opening presents on Christmas Day.  I even woke up before the alarm clock, and that rarely happens.  (Note: the alarm clock my son who wakes up at 7am everyday no matter what.)  Unwrapping presents is still a thrill for me.  However, now that I have a one-year-old son, watching him tear through presents is even more fun.  His wide-eyes and “Wow”s kept us all entertained.  Sometimes the unwrapping was the best part of the whole gift to him!


Amazon Wish Lists

One of the best things about Christmas now that I’m older is that I only get gifts that I specifically ask for.  A few years back, my mom instituted a policy that she would only buy gifts from Amazon wish lists to make her life a little easier.  She always appreciates us completing them by early December, so she has time to receive and wrap the gifts.  


Since I like receiving gifts, I am always good about filling my list.  The best part about choosing all my gifts is that I know I won’t need to make any returns.  That is a gift in itself!


Christmas Returns

According to Optoro, approximately $70 billion worth of products will be returned this holiday season.  To put this in perspective, roughly $284 billion worth of product returns will have occurred in 2016.  So almost a quarter of all returns in 2016 will probably occur after Christmas.


Gift Cards

Many parents try to avoid giving gifts that will be returned by giving their children gift cards.  The gift card industry is exploding.  Gift cards are expected to be a $160 billion industry by 2018.  Unfortunately, as the market continues to expand, the number of people that want them are low.  In a recent survey, only 27% of Americans said that they looked forward to receiving a gift card, compared to 73% that looked forward to receiving a physical gift.




Discounted Gift Cards

As I previously mentioned, I definitely plan to be on the look out for discounted gift cards on Cardpool the day after Christmas for those that are trying to flip their gift cards into cash.


Cash Is King

A poll by Halifax, a U.K. bank, found that nearly one-third of children preferred to receive cash as their gift for Christmas.  My parents don’t usually do this, but my Grandma does, since she finds it too difficult to pick out a gift for everyone.


Ten Items To Buy After Christmas Returns

So with these facts in mind, I came up with a list of the top 10 gifts that you can buy with your money from Christmas returns.


  • Nintendo: NES Classic Edition – I have to admit that I still have my original Nintendo, but I still want this NES Classic Edition.  Some of my best childhood memories were playing video games with friends.  I seriously can’t wait to play Super Mario Brothers again.


  • Google Cardboard – While it’s not the Oculus Rift, this is an incredibly fun way to experience Virtual Reality on a budget.  I played around with it and have to say that it was definitely at the top of my holiday wish list.


  • Amazon Echo – I am totally intrigued by this device.  I have read all the reviews on the Echo along with it’s competitor Google Home and am torn.  They both have a ton of useful features.  I can imagine how this could definitely make my life easier.


  • Roku Streaming Stick – My wife and I are getting closer and closer to cutting the cord.  Note:  An antenna doesn’t work at our house for whatever reason. I have tried all throughout the house and haven’t been able to find the right angle to receive service.  With all the great streaming products out there and the unbundling that is taking place, I could see ourselves untethered by this time next year.  The holdout has been local programming since I love to watch football.  But even that looks like it is finally becoming available on other avenues.


  • SoundBot SB510 HD Water Resistant Bluetooth 3.0 Shower Speaker – I received this gift two years ago and have to say it’s one of my favorite gifts ever.  Listening to music and podcasts while I shower are a treat and really provide a nice pick-me-up in the morning.  On top of that, it’s super affordable and something that I enjoy on a daily basis.


  • Amazon Kindle – I remember when I first received a Kindle thinking, “What is this thing?”.  I loved holding a book and feeling the texture of the paper.  That was six years ago.  Today I can’t imagine lugging multiple hardback books around with me on vacation.  Plus, being able to download books and have them delivered directly to me is very convenient.  


  • Foot Massager – I love this gift so much.  I could get my feet rubbed all day and never complain.  Coming home from work after using my standing desk all day makes for an enjoyable time.


  • Inflatable Pool with Plastic Balls – My son loves this gift so much.  It’s like he has his own personal Chuck-E-Cheese.  My parents have purchased this pool and ball combo as well.  My kid can’t get enough of jumping into the balls pit and playing around.  Plus, the best part is in the summertime, you can use the pool outside as well for its original purpose.


  • Exploding Kittens – I wrote a review about how my family and I love playing this card game.  We played it on Christmas Eve, and we had a blast.


  • RTIC – This item can keep your drink hot or cold for for as long as Yeti. The great part is it is about half the price but provides the same performance.  


Readers, did you have a great Christmas?  Are you content with your gifts, or will you be making some Christmas returns?  Share your stories below.


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  1. My older boys received the NES Classic from their uncle and they love it! My 13 year old is a big fan of “retro” games, and he played it much of the day yesterday. I received a Nintendo from my grandparents as a Christmas gift when I was a bit younger than him, and I remember playing it all of Christmas vacation that year. It’s nice to see the boys doing the same things I did as a kid.

    We do have to make some Christmas returns (which I hate doing-I dislike shopping). My kids got several duplicates and one of their toys broke within an hour of opening it. So today we have to head out and start exchanging those things for something else. Hopefully the stores won’t be too crowded!
    Liz@ChiefMomOfficer recently posted…My Quarterly Net Worth ProcessMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Liz!!!

      I love Nintendo and your son clearly has good taste. Nintendo games are so much fun to play. Plus I love how they have all sorts of cheats to basically make you invincible. Who can forget Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl 🙂

      Good luck on your returns today. Hopefully the mall isn’t too bad!!!

  2. I guess we’re not the only one with the child alarm clock version. We have 2, though we’re lucky if one doesn’t go off early.
    Other then at some point picking up an nes classic when available I’m happy with what I received. That being said I didn’t want much either.
    That doesn’t mean I won’t have some returns though. As usual the grand parents went crazy and bought out toysrus. That usually means the day after we return, we regift, or we donate. Sad as it is they do this every year and are aware of how we handle it, Yet they continue to do so like it’s a grand parents disease….
    Full Time Finance recently posted…Make Your Self Stand Out to Get Ahead: DifferentiationMy Profile

    • Hahaha…I have no idea why my child wakes up so early. I’m not asking super late. Just until 8 am. It would give me a couple of hours in the morning until the “controlled chaos” begins.

      My son too received a ton of gifts and my wife has decided to space them out throughout the year so that he can play with them when he gets bored of some of his other toys.

      Although honestly while I write this he’s running around with a spoon in his hand and trying to “dig” on the carpet.

      So it might be awhile before he gets around to playing with his new toys 🙂

      Thanks as always for stopping by!!!

    • I’ve heard some amazing things about Echo. I joke around with my wife that we’re going to get an Echo to answer the onslaught of questions that we receive from one of our family members 🙂

  3. I would honestly be happy with receiving Amazon gift cards for Christmas, but my mom still likes to give out physical gifts. On the cable cutting front, we cut ours a few years ago. My biggest holdup was sports, but I can now get any sports channel that I want through Sling TV. I’m also lucky that an HD antenna works well in my home. I can get the 4 major channels in clear HD.
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Investment Fees are Costing You Years in RetirementMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Go Finance Yourself!!!

      I wish an antenna worked for us. If it did we would be in the same boat as you. I’ve heard some really amazing things about SlingTV and I am really tempted to cut the cord. Hopefully soon 🙂

      Hope you had a great Christmas.

  4. My wife and I don’t receive too many gifts anymore, as we stopped gifting adult (parents and siblings) a while ago because it was getting too difficult. Plus most of the siblings have their own kids to worry about!

    That being said, I did gift myself a heavy bag for the basement to help with the Taekwondo training that my son (age 14) and I are doing. My daughter likes it too.

    The most fun, as you said, is seeing the kids unwrap their presents and seeing them get so excited!
    Jon @ Be Net Worthy recently posted…The Best of 2016: My 10 Most Popular Articles of the YearMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing and stopping by Jon!!!

      Congrats on the heavy bag for Taekwondo. I grew up doing Taekwondo and it’s an amazing sport/discipline as you probably already know. I definitely wish I had continued with it looking back.

      Anyway that’s got to be a great stress reliever at the end of a long day to kick and punch the heavy bag.

      Hope you had a great Christmas!!!

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Leo!!!

      I’m sure you’re being too hard on yourself. I bet you’re a great gift giver but I will say money and gift cards are never a bad thing 🙂

      Hope you had a great Christmas!!!

  5. Our Christmas was pretty mellow. My wife and I decided not to give each other gifts this year, especially since we both already got one on December 2. I can’t wait for our alarm clock to only go off at 7am. As it is, he goes off every three hours.

    That’s awesome that you still have your original Nintendo. Does it still work? I’ll admit that I do have my eye on the NES Classic Edition. Those games just bring back so many fond memories of my childhood. I can’t imagine the feel-good sensations I would get by playing them again.
    SomeRandomGuyOnline recently posted…The Real Benefit of Dollar Cost AveragingMy Profile

    • Your December blessing is definitely the best gift you can receive for Christmas 🙂

      As much as I complain about the 7 am wake up call you are right when you say the wake up call every 3 hours is much worse.

      I do still have my original Nintendo and still hook it up every once awhile. With it being 8 bit after awhile it hurts my eyes but it’s still a blast to play.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope you get some more sleep soon 🙂

  6. Congrats on the nephew! It’s funny reading this, because I just became an uncle a couple days ago 🙂

    Glad to hear you’re enjoying the holidays, and I wish the best for you and your family in the new year!

    • Congrats to you Mr. Crazy Kicks!!! December must be a popular month for babies. I have a couple of friends that also gave birth. There must have been a snowstorm in March 🙂

      Hope you had a great Christmas!!!

  7. If I came across one of those Nintendo consoles I would be very tempted to get one. I never had my own so I always wanted to go to my friend’s house to play. I’m sure I’d have a blast if I got one now in the short term, but I probably wouldn’t get enough mileage out of it. If I can convince one of my friends to buy one that would be perfect. 🙂
    Untemplater recently posted…What a great year it has been: 2016 Year-end Net Worth UpdateMy Profile

    • My wife would never let me buy one today. She hates video games and thinks they are the biggest time waster.

      So I would definitely have to find a friend with one so that I could go over to their place to play.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  8. We had my wife’s family over on Christmas Eve and her brother brought over their 12-week old puppy. Our dog had a blast playing with their puppy and they were great entertainment for everyone.

    We don’t exchange gifts with the family anymore, so that reduces the stress level and keeps more money in everyone’s pocket. We just get to enjoy the company and tell old embarrassing stories 🙂

    It’s hard to find gifts for our sons now who are 17 and 18. A few books, socks (exciting!), a few other clothes, and some cash pretty much rounds out the gifts.

    Hope you and your family have a great 2017!
    Mr. Need2Save recently posted…What Will FIRE Look Like?My Profile

    • With a 12 week old puppy that should have been a blast to watch. That is such a cute age for dogs.

      I think for teenagers that cash is definitely king 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that 2017 is even better for you!!!

  9. In my earlier years, I wanted the stuff. But now that I’m 43, I actually have an aversion to ‘stuff’. However, I do have a niece that is the same age as your son and it is so hard to buy a fun gift for a one year old! I just give my sister money for her college fund, and then when she gets older, I will focus on educational gifts. Although, that “pool” with the balls sounds AWESOME! I may check that out. 🙂
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…You Can Fear the ‘fire’ or Become the FIREMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Primal Prosperity!!! My son and niece LOVE the pool with balls.

      Everytime we go over to my parents they both dive in head first. It’s like their own personal Chuck E Cheese.

      Plus in the summertime we empty the balls out and let them play in the backyard. It’s a year round toy 🙂

  10. Wow I had no idea something like Cardpool existed! I spent about $30 there for things around the home about a month ago. I could have saved 5%! Thanks for the great tip, I’ll be sure to use it in the future!

    Btw hope you get the NES Classic Edition. I’m sure it’s a hot commodity among the gamer generation haha!
    Andrew recently posted…2016 Year End Thoughts And Goals For 2017My Profile

    • Cardpool makes me feel much less guilty when I go out and eat. Usually you can find some really good deals on Cardpool which can make it comparable to cooking a meal at home if you find a great deal.

      Unfortunately I didn’t get an NES classic 🙁 Hopefully when it’s back in stock I’ll have a chance to pick one up 🙂

  11. That’s pretty cool that the classic Nintendo is back!

    I too scour the gift card markets. I use Raise, but, there are several good sites. I just discovered the gift card marketplaces a few months ago myself and started using them to buy and sell.
    Josh @MoneyBuffalo recently posted…Why I Took an Adult Gap YearMy Profile

    • I was pumped when I saw the classic Nintendo plus it works with HD and not 8 bit which is awesome 🙂

      I am not as familiar with Raise so I will definitely check them out.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. Congrats on your new nephew. It’s always fun to have babies around during the holidays. And I bet you had a blast with your one year old. I love Christmas even more now that we have kids.

    I love the idea of the Amazon wish list. I am normally the one in our family that starts a Facebook event page for Christmas and hounds people to get their lists in. But not this year and it made shopping more difficult for all of the adults for sure.

    We won’t be returning anything. I would say $70 billion in returns is hard to believe, but I used to work retail in college and the after Christmas returns/shopping was insane!
    Kelsey @ Tealmama recently posted…How to Make Krumkake (A Norwegian Waffle Cookie)My Profile

    • My sister in law went to the mall the day after Christmas and she said it was INSANE.

      I am so thankful for Amazon and being able to ship something back if I don’t like it. Standing in line for returns is a miserable use of my time 🙂

      Hope you have a great New Years!!!

  13. Hi MSM,
    This Christmas has been the best for my family and friends because they all got the best presents from my end. However, I did spend around Rs.10,000+ so far. I think I have overspent. Now I’m looking tips that can save money on Christmas eves. You have shared many ideas, and I will give it a try.

    Thank you for sharing the Tips mate.
    Rajkumar recently posted…TOP 5 ANDROID MOBILES UNDER 10000My Profile

  14. I actually received a gift card from my parents; I had mentioned to my Mom that I needed a few items like shoes and clothes for work. They gave me a Kohl’s gift card so when I get a coupon in the mail soon for 30% off I will make a trip to visit my favorite store.

    My oldest asked for specific items from Amazon and although he knew what he was getting he really appreciated the gifts. I think I may have to request we do the Amazon Wishlist next year. Maybe I can institute this for birthdays too.
    Tammy recently posted…It’s Not Your Salary That Makes You RichMy Profile

    • That’s awesome that you were able to get a gift card from Kohl’s and my wife is in the background applauding waiting to use that 30% coupon. She LOVES a good deal especially if you can be patient and get a deep discount 🙂

      Amazon wishlist is such a helpful tool that I can’t imagine not using it anymore. Definitely saves a ton of time and energy not worrying about what others want.

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

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