How to Grow Paperwhites 

and Brighten Your Home for the Holidays

When my sons were younger, they'd always want to be outside with me working in the yard. They were my little gardening helpers -- raking leaves, collecting pine-cones, growing vegetables, and turning over the compost pile. We felt sad in the winter when the snow covered our yard, and all gardening duties had to get put on hold until spring. 

Fortunately, we found a way to use our green thumbs in the winter by starting the tradition of planting paperwhite bulbs. It's so quick and easy. Best of all, there's no mess because we use rocks, no soil! Paperwhites make a lovely centerpiece for your holiday dinner table or an attractive display on the windowsills throughout your house. 

1. Collect what you need -- paperwhite bulbs (available during the winter months at gardening centers. I bought mine at Home Depot), vases (I like to use tall ones because paperwhites grow so high that they topple. I bought mine at The Dollar Store), rocks, stones, or marbles (available at both Home Depot and The Dollar Store).

 2. Fill your vase 2" high with rocks, stones, or marbles.

3. Place bulbs in the vase, touching one another. Add some more rocks around the bulbs to stabilize them but leave the tops exposed.

4.  Fill vase with water until it reaches the base of the bulbs. Add more water when the level gets low.

5. If the bulbs have already sprouted, place the vase in a sunny spot. If they haven't sprouted, place them in a dark spot until they do. Then move to the sun.

I like to buy a lot of bulbs and put them in vases on windowsills throughout the house. They add a lovely, delicate charm during the holidays. They give a calming effect against all the razzle-dazzle of the Christmas decorations!

When my boys were little, they loved trains so it's no surprise this magical book was a favorite around our home. It celebrates the magic of Christmas and the joy of a little boy. It's a must-have for your home holiday library. Make some cocoa. Get in your pajamas and get cozy for a good read!

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