It’s time to exchange

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, December 25, 2008

This weekend, many will set out to exchange gifts that didn’t suit them for one reason or another.

Maybe they got some clothes that didn’t fit (perhaps they would have fit before all that holiday “dieting”). Or maybe someone bought them a movie they found too offensive (or, more likely than not, not offensive enough).

Or, perhaps your child’s Hannah Montana play set was missing one or two of the 75 accessories it included.

Whatever the reason, if your weekend plans involve visiting a retail store, you will likely find yourself fighting a large crowd. It’s unlikely that you will see me among them because I tend to be allergic to crowds.

Hopefully, those who received gifts from me will not have to exchange them because I tried to buy “low-risk” gifts this year. “Low-risk” gifts are those that leave little doubt as to whether the person will have a potential problem with them. Of course, this is not always easy to gauge, but you just have to use common sense.

I didn’t buy any clothes unless they were marked “one size fits all.” I didn’t buy any gift cards because, chances are, the stores would have gone out of business due to the economic downturn.

I simply asked people what they wanted and bought pretty much what they requested unless it didn’t match the above criteria. That’s easier than playing the guessing game.

My biggest fear is that someone else will buy an identical item for a loved one. Of course, this is really nobody’s fault, and it isn’t very likely to happen. If it does happen, I recommend secretly breaking the gift from the other person so they will keep your gift (just kidding).

I hope everyone has a happy New Year.

– Scott Mims is the news editor for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Friday. He can be reached at