Gifts for the Herb Lover -- You

Apparently I'm not alone in giving myself gifts every Christmas. A few recent marketing studies suggest that well over half of spouses treat themselves to personal presents over the holidays -- and who better to give you what you really want than . . . you.

Not to be ungrateful, but opening a new handheld vacuum or can opener on Christmas morning probably isn't the big thrill my husband envisions for me. Heck, he's all smiles and patting himself on the back if he manages to wrap presents and not just dump them in a big brown paper sack. You've gotta love the efficiency, but subtle and romantically thoughtful it's not.

I might be exaggerating a little. He asks me for a list every year and is dutiful about rounding up most of the items I have in mind. The real trouble is that some items are between me and my creative self. I don't want to have to explain how having an instant-on glue gun is my big dream this year when he knows I have three or four standard glue guns in the garage already, or that ocean glass rock polishing is going to be my new hobby for 2013, and I need all the equipment pronto to make a set of mosaic stepping stones before Easter.

To fulfill my secret wish list, I sometimes have to employ subtlety and maybe even a little stealth (the trunk of my car and the guest room closet are my go-to stash locations). I'd feel a little guilty about this indulgence if I wasn't absolutely certain my sweetie has a similar method -- his stash is behind the reach-in fridge in the garage. (I stumbled on it cleaning one day.)

If the idea of personal gift giving interests you, here's my list of general suggestions for herb related holiday purchases. We'll be working on projects in 2013 that will put them to good use -- I promise.

Getting Seeds Started

  • Seed starter kits
  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Vegetable and herb seeds - Order your free catalogs from my recent list of 2013 Seed Catalogs
  • A spiral bound notebook
  • A heat mat - Investing in a seedling heat mat will give your seeds a head start on the season. It's like preschool for plants.

Kitchen and Cosmetic Herb Project Supplies

  • Mortar and pestle - For grinding dried herbs. I like bamboo or wood, but they're also available in ceramic, metal and stone.
  • An assortment of glass bottles with tight fitting lids (prefer plastic, rubber or cork) - for homemade vinegars, liquors, oils and beverages
  • A set of smaller bottles - for ointments, perfumes and cosmetic preparations
  • Cheesecloth
  • A double boiler (This one should be reserved for your craft projects only.)

Basic Herb Craft Supplies

  • A glue gun
  • A dehydrator - They're almost all good and range from $20 to around $200.
  • A handheld staple gun with an assortment of staples
  • A craft drill
  • Rolls of ribbon in colors that match your home decor (or seasonal projects you want to make). Raffia ribbon is a good idea too.
  • Small muslin bags
  • 24 gauge wire in assorted colors (I like green and brown.) It's handy for lots of things, including wreath and swag making.
  • Wire cutters (You can find small ones at your local craft store for a couple of dollars)

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you have some of the basics on hand, there are lots of projects you can tackle without ever leaving the house for extra supplies. When inspiration strikes -- you're prepared -- or almost prepared.


  1. Great list. I just e-mailed the link to my husband.


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