Why Paperwhites Make the Best Holiday Gifts
Watching the delicate flowers form is half the fun of paperwhites. Pick up bulb-forcing vases at your local garden shop or online. Fill each one with water, and place a bulb on top. Once it has a few shoots and flowers, knot a cheery ribbon around the vase, and it's ready for the teacher's desk.
For Dinner Guests
Place cards can double as party favors at a festive affair. Fill a vintage teacup (stock up on them at thrift stores!) with gravel and a single bulb. Carefully tie the name tag to a sturdy stem. Note: A paperwhite that's just starting to flower (as shown here) sits nicely on the table, and your guests can also look forward to more blooms to come.
For Your Neighbors
Spread cheer in your community with a charming potted arrangement topped with bright seasonal citrus. Cluster four or five bulbs in a basic terra-cotta pot filled with soil, and cover with moss. Top the moss with kumquats (or similar fruit), and add a sprig of greenery tied with a bow.
For Your Book Club
Send fellow readers home with a novel idea that's as easy as it is delightful. No books will be harmed in the making—just take photocopies of meaningful passages, and then use twine or ribbon to wrap up a bulb that has green shoots. Tuck in a note card with care instructions to guarantee success.
For Your Mother-in-Law
Wow an extra-special recipient with an elegant centerpiece she can brag about to her supper club friends. Fill a widemouthed glass container with fine gravel, and nestle bulbs into the pebbles. Add water until it touches the bottoms of the bulbs. Insert spray-painted branches to support stems and keep them from leaning as they grow. Finish the arrangement with a festive gold ribbon.
For Open House Attendees
Create a potting station for partygoers to package up their own paperwhite favors at casual soirees. They can each fill a paper sack with a small scoop of gravel and a bulb and then get their plants going as soon as they return home.