The Rules...of returning holiday gifts

According to a recent report

by ConsumerWorld.org, a thorough and terrific consumer advocacy web site, the rules on returning gifts are getting a little more lenient. Eleven percent of stores are loosening their policies.

On the other hand, the rules are getting stricter, too. ConsumerWorld -- which got its numbers from the National Retail Federation -- says that 17% of stores are putting more strict rules in place.

Still, the takeaway from all this is that it's a good idea to know the store's return policies if you think there's any chance you may want to return a gift, or if you're giving a present that you're not sure how it'll be received.