Skip the Christmas crankies.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
December 17, 2018
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It's December 26th. You're sipping hot cocoa and reading a book, when it hits you: You were gifted two copies of that short story collection you're currently flipping through. Or maybe you want to trade in that cedar candle for pine wood, or a certain cerulean blue sweater for a green jacket.

Regardless of your holiday plunder, chances are there is at least a thing or two you'd like to exchange. So when's the best time of day to hit the stores? To avoid long lines and crowds, go in the morning around opening time, usually 10:00am or so, suggests Reader's Digest. In terms of the best day of the week, Sunday is normally a safe bet with less foot traffic than you'll tend to see on other days of the week.

"If you can’t get out on a Sunday, weekday mornings—especially Mondays and Tuesdays—usually have shorter lines too, says Sarah Hollenbeck, a shopping and savings expert at offers.com," writes Marissa Laliberte in the Reader's Digest piece. "Hitting the shops on a weekday afternoon is also better than heading out after work or on a busy weekend, she says, but notes that the week after Christmas tends to be packed no matter what." You may, however, the article reports, find some luck with swift returns on New Year's Day — make sure to check online or call for any changes in store hours —when many are relaxing after the previous evening's festivities

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If you can, try to delay your holiday returns until after the New Year holiday when crazy lines at stores should calm down. Better yet, embrace the fact that Aunt Sue really is right — cerulean is your color, after all.

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