December 26: the second-busiest shopping day of the year. However well-intentioned, inevitably we all get a gift that doesn’t quite fit — your size, your personality, your wish list. Apparently, the need to rectify these bad fits must be dealt with immediately: Rolling Oaks and North Star malls open at
8 a.m. sharp. The Shops at La Cantera and North Star won’t close until 10 p.m. But if you’re sick of the mall scene, here are some creative alternatives for those “Thanks, but no thanks” gifts.
Gift-card exchanges: My husband once got a gift card for Bath & Body Works — for $10. Sites like cardavenue.com, swapagift.com, certificateswap.com and giftcardsagain.com allow you to buy, sell, and trade gift cards from all major retailers from Tiffany’s to Lowe’s.
Ebay: Especially when you recognize an obvious re-gift, perhaps from an elderly relative, spend the day making back the money you spent on your own holiday shopping by trolling the vast network that is eBay.com, where there truly is a buyer for everything.
Donations: It’s the end of the year and time to get in those last tax deductions. Clothes, knick-knacks, housewares and unused toiletries can all find good homes through such charitable thrift stores as Goodwill and Assistance League of San Antonio. Try the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County website, which list more than 20 specific needs, from white socks and underwear to children’s books, from the hundreds of agencies listed.