• Lauren A. Merritt, P.A.

Dollar Tree Trade: The 55-Item Exchange

When Matt and I decided to go forward with our April 2020 wedding amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, we knew the responsible thing was to cancel our wedding reception. That meant our guest room was filled with would-be reception decorations during the weeks of quarantine as we waited for the stores to re-open.

We had planned for the tables at the reception to be decorated with glass vases and floating candles. I’d found the vases at the Dollar Tree. We had three boxes filled with 55 vases… and no receipt. Because who expects a global pandemic to cancel their wedding reception?


Last week, Matt and I strapped on our face masks and took the boxes up to the Dollar Tree to ask about the return policy. Exhausted after a long day, we were hoping for store credit. We love Dollar Tree!

“Exchange only,” she said.

Woah. Really?

We grabbed a cart and set out to fill it with 55 items as quickly as possible.

Thank you cards, gift bags, tissue paper, stickers for the kids, more stickers for the kids, zip lock bags- every size, paper plates x 5, tooth paste, tooth brushes, q-tips… and on it goes.

We proudly returned to our own “closed” checkout counter to count our items. By now we had attracted a few stares from folks wondering what in the world we were doing.

36 new items.

“This is all we need. You can just keep the rest of the vases. We don’t want to exchange them.”


“No.” said the manager. “You can take the rest and bring them back to exchange another time.”

Those vases were not coming back in the house! With no other choice, we set out to collect 19 more items.

More stickers for the kids, more gift bags (multiples colors, sizes, and occasions), more tissue paper, and three cross-word puzzles for the three girls.

Back to the counter for more stares and our final count.

55 items!

Our even exchange turned out to be an exciting challenge. I’m proud to say we stocked up on 55 things we will most certainly put to good use. And we had a few laughs doing it. Thanks to Matt for the blog idea on this one!

We never expected we wouldn’t be able to use those vases for our wedding. After all, we thought we had a foolproof plan! Similarly, our loved ones often believe their written estate plan is a foolproof plan that will avoid probate. With careful planning, avoiding probate can be definitely be done. Often, however, a will simply tells the probate court who to distribute probate assets to.

If you need help understanding a loved one’s estate, call me for a consultation. If you need help setting up a an estate plan for yourself, call me for that too. I will gladly point you in the right direction!

Call today. (850) 427-2228.

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©2019 by Lauren A. Merritt, P.A.