Return policies vary from store to store, but according to a recent study by the National Retailers Association, most retail stores now give you until the middle of January to take something back.

There are some things you need to keep in mind though.  For example, if possible don't open the package and make sure you bring along the receipt.

And the best time to bring back returns - on a weekday late-morning or mid-afternoon.  That's the time the lines are going to be shortest.

If you need to visit with customer service about something, the best time to make that call - according to Incoming Calls Management Institute - is mid-afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.  That's the time most people are too busy working to call.

And if by some chance you received a gift card to the wrong store, you can always swap or sell it by going to,, or giftcard

Worse case scenario - invite your neighbors over for a "White Elephant Party."