The 12 Months Of Christmas

Read "A Christmas Secret," a children's story by Susan Molthop

Watch for plant bargains at the big stores. During April and May, you can sometimes find tiny houseplants and perennial herbs for $1 each (or even less). When you start with tiny plants, they grow faster and transplant easier than their larger cousins. Shock is at a minimum at this stage. With proper care, they should be big and lush by Christmas, making a perfect, give that looks like you paid $10-$20 for it.

With houseplants, look for easy-care plants that don't need much sun or water, so you can give them to anyone, including those with a "black" thumb, who can't grow anything but plastic flowers.

Some suggestions for herbs are: lavender, rosemary, and thyme (comes in several varieties--all nice). Stay away from sage and the mints, unless you know what you'r doing--they could get sloppy looking before Christmas.

Another possibility is miniature roses. I've never seen them less than $5, and they don't grow very fast, but if you buy now and work with them for a year and a half, they'll make impressive gifts for the following Christmas.

Start shopping garage sales and thrift shops for craft supplies and unique, vintage gifts. Some items to look for are Christmas decorations, gift wrap, and nice baskets to fill with smaller items for gifts.


Our whole family has been doing eBay for several years, so thrift stores and garage sales have become a serious part of our business. The unique gift items we find-new and used-have enhanced our Christmas gift-giving, dramatically, with the added benefit of spreading the costs over the whole year without running up any credit card debt. Some of our bests gifts have been "used" like the vintage cuckoo clock our daughter gave us for Christmas last year.

Original patterns, articles, and links to other online resources for people who love to knit or crochet easy projects.

January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

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