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Digging into the gift closet for last-minute presents

December 21, 2011 |  8:24 am

Last-minute presentsWe've been asking all sorts of people -- city officials, musicians, chefs -- whether they keep a little storehouse of just-in-case presents (or things they plan to regift). Their answers are coming later this week on L.A. at Home and in Saturday's paper -- just time for people who are still shopping.

All year, I squirrel away gifts for no one. Or anyone. So I’ve got a big drawer full of earrings, scarves, cool dishes -- honest, you can’t tell they’re seconds. There are toys that never seem to be exactly right for any kid I know. Clever dish towels. And when we travel abroad, I bring home a dozen of this or a handful of that -- you never know, right?

Last-minute presentsCome December, I pile it on the bed and sort it out. And there are always treasures I’ve found over the years that I’m thrilled to give to friends and family. Often, I’ve gotten a lot of my shopping out of the way.

I admit it doesn’t always work out. I finally got rid of the last of the Russian trinkets -- and my family left there in 1999. (There's a hand-painted bowl at the top and a box above.) Don't ask about China; we were there just a few years ago. And there was a time when my sons would holler, “Nooooo, not something from that drawer,” whenever they needed a birthday party gift.

What about you? Any secret stash of would-be presents lurking in your home? Let us know about the gold and the coal you've got stored away by writing in the comments section or emailing us at home@latimes.com. We'd love to hear from you.


A sharp-looking gift: a good knife

A light-hearted gift: DIY candlesticks

A gift of pot: Quirky concrete planter

-- Mary MacVean

Photos: Sam Landsberg