It's been a while since I wrote a letter to Santa, but with an almost 5-year-old in the house, the Santa letter might be the most important letter we send all year. As we sat down to make his list, we first had to answer all the important questions. Is this enough paper? How does the mail truck get to the north pole? And, of course, will Santa bring EVERYTHING on the list? As he wrote it all down, I realized that Santa has it easy. Kids like so many things and it's not difficult to delight them with just about anything related to Legos, trucks or the Paw Patrol. 

I wish my shopping list was that simple. As we get older, it gets harder and harder to find that unique gift that won't end up as clutter in someone's house. Working in a greenhouse everyday, I see how plants make people happy and are a clear solution to giving the perfect gift. 

1) For the Chef - Fresh flavors make every dish better. Try a rosemary tree or herb window garden for a friend that loves to cook. Pick up a lemon or lime tree and make a date to share mojitos with fresh lime and mint. 

2) For the Trend-Setter - There is no bigger trend right now than succulents. They are easy, low maintenance plants that provide all kinds of style and living decor. From wall hangings to cactus gardens to a simple aloe in a pot, succulents are a great living gift that is sure to stay in style all of 2017.

3) For the Hostess - Be the favorite guest at your next holiday party with a hostess gift that everyone will notice. A fresh wreath or evergreen centerpiece for the table will add holiday flair and fragrance to any get-together. 

4) For the Urban Dweller - Whether it's a new apartment, tiny dorm room or down-sized condo, people still like to have plants around. For small spaces try a glass terrarium that does double-duty as a decoration and indoor garden.  Air plants in hanging glass ornaments are also a great plant gift with virtually no care at all. Try a DIY kit for those that like to craft and create. 

5) For the Classic Traditionalist - After all these years, poinsettia is still the number one plant gift at the holidays. For a twist on tradition, try a Christmas cactus or blooming amaryllis which will bloom every December for years to come. 

Finish your shopping with a trip to the greenhouse or florist. We will leave the toys to Santa. Plants might be too tempting for the reindeer.

Get in the Garden December To-Do List:

1) Check houseplants for signs of insects and treat if needed.

2) Apply Wilt-Stop spray to all evergreens in your landscape, especially Boxwood, Azaleas, and Rhododendrons. This will prevent the winter-burn that turns them brown.

3) Plant indoor bulbs like Amaryllis and Paperwhites for a winter pop of color.

4) Use a mulching mower to chop up the remaining leaves on your lawn so they will break down over winter. 

5) Continue to water new plantings up until the ground freezes. They should be getting one inch of water per week. 

6) Decorate your front porch by topping off pots with topsoil and arranging fresh cut evergreens, pine cones and red twig dogwood. 

7) Hang wreaths, garland and lights on the outside of your home before December snow and ice make it difficult. A bowl of paperwhite bulbs blooms indoors.

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