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Holiday survival guide: tips for good regifting, lush wrangling, party dodging and more

December 7, 2009 | 11:37 am


TV personality Jillian Reynolds once tried to regift a pair of shoes -- with her name embroidered on them. Designer and author William Yeoward once regifted a picnic basket, which might have been fine if he'd removed the spoiled food inside first.

Yes, the holidays deliver thorny questions: How does one regift? Blow off invitations? Wrangle drunken party guests?

For answers we surveyed a wide, wide range of creative minds, including, pictured at top, from left,  Reynolds, actor-environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., chef Susan Feniger, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons and Shabby Chic founder Rachel Ashwell. We also talked to designer Jonathan Adler, KCRW DJ Anne Litt, Feniger's cohort in cooking Mary Sue Milliken and actress Ann Magnuson. You'll find the full story here.

SurvivalSandraLee Advice from Food Network host Sandra Lee, at right, landed just a tad late to make our print edition, so we thought we'd add it here.  What to do when you want to dodge a party? Don't, Lee says. "If you do accept an invitation, you gotta accept an invitation," she says. That means coming when you've said you're coming. The exception: illness.

As for the decoration that's sure to get you in the holiday spirit? "Mistletoe," Lee says. "It says everything, for holidays and New Year's. Everybody loves it and you get kissed a lot! I’m not sure anything is better than that. Just make sure the guest that's kissing you isn't the one who tried to cancel because they were sick!"

-- Alexandria Abramian Mott

Photo credits, top, from left: Getty Images, Getty Images, Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times, Getty Images and Los Angeles Times. Sandra Lee photo courtesy of Sandra Lee.