Holiday Décor, Preparations and Gifts

The holiday season has officially begun, and with it comes decorating, party planning, and making gift lists (and checking them twice). Here’s a round-up of great holiday décor, gifts and items to make the holiday season both brighter—and easier.

Fully decorated tabletop tree provides instant holiday decor


Nutcracker Decorated Christmas Tree

The Nutcracker Decorated Christmas Tree adds an infusion of festive holiday spirit to any room. The living Italian Stone Pine tree comes fully decorated with nutcracker ornaments—a time-honored symbol of the holidays. In addition, the tree is covered with a profusion of red, green and gold ornaments and decorative garland, and it’s topped with a red and green tartan bow. The tree is also pre-strung with sparkling white lights. Just remove it from the box and plug it in for instant holiday decor.

The fine foliage of this living Italian Stone Pine tree is a perfect evergreen accent for any holiday celebration. The Nutcracker Decorated Tabletop Tree stands 24-26 inches tall, and comes in a 1.5 gallon green metallic decorative tin. After the holidays are over, the live tree may be transplanted outdoors for years of enjoyment. The Nutcracker Decorated Christmas Tree sells for $119.95 from, 800-292-4769.


Ponderosa Lemon Soap

Ponderosa Lemon Soap brightens the complexion

Anyone who appreciates nice personal care products will love a handcrafted bar of Ponderosa Lemon Soap. Logee’s Greenhouse in Danielson, Connecticut, is famous for the giant “American Wonder” Ponderosa Lemon tree that has been growing inside the greenhouse since 1900. Now Julie Ignacio, an artisan in nearby Brooklyn, Connecticut, is using the juice from American Wonder lemons to make Ponderosa Lemon Soap.

It turns out that lemon juice is renowned for its valuable skincare properties. Lemon juice tones the skin (especially oily skin) and closes the pores. The citric acid in lemon juice works as a mild exfoliate. Lemon juice also brightens the complexion, acts as a mild antiseptic and rejuvenates dull skin. Plus, the fragrance is to die for. The lemon juice is combined with milk from Ms. Ignacio’s goats and all-natural ingredients with no detergents or petroleum. The 8 ounce bar of soap is formed in the shape of a lemon and split in half for easier use. Every bar is beautifully packaged to make a perfect gift. Ponderosa Lemon Soap sells for $12.95, and a special gift set of one Ponderosa Lemon Tree in a 5” pot and a bar of handmade Ponderosa Lemon Soap sells for $29.95 from, (888) 330-8038.


Amaryllis bulb is perfect for the holidays.

Blooming Amaryllis gift is a holiday tradition

A new variety of blooming Amaryllis bulb called Grand Trumpet® Diva is one of the latest new Amaryllis introductions from Jackson & Perkins that literally brings the holiday colors to life. “Diva” boasts large, wine-red blooms with velvety-soft petals. The long-lasting blooms make a breath-taking decoration for the holiday season and beyond. The Amaryllis plant will grow to 15 inches tall with blooms up to 7 inches wide.

The Single Grand Trumpet® Diva Amaryllis Bulb Gift includes the extra-large Amaryllis bulb planted in a wicker basket that’s finished with a top dressing of red-to-purple metallic balls. The basket can be re-used after the holiday season as a cachepot for other container plants or a handy decorative household basket. The woven basket is approximately 6.5 inches tall by 6.25 inches wide and deep. The Single Grand Trumpet® Diva Amaryllis Bulb Gift sells for $34.95 from, 800-292-4769. A larger 3-in-1 Grand Trumpet® Diva Amaryllis Bulb Gift (with three bulbs) sells for $59.95.


Joseph Bentley Gardeners Hand Tool Gift Set

Hand tool gift set is perfect for gardeners

Gardeners can never have enough tools—especially when they are finely crafted to provide years of faithful use. The Gardeners Hand Tool Gift Set from Joseph Bentley contains the small tools that are used most often by beginning gardeners and master gardeners alike. Included in this set are: a trowel, a transplanting trowel and a hand fork.

All three tools have carefully finished solid oak wooden handles and polished stainless steel heads. The tools are presented in a wooden seed box and nestled in shaved wood, making the set a perfect gardening gift for the holiday season or any time of year.

Established in 1895, Joseph Bentley is known throughout England for making high-quality, traditional garden tools that are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. The company’s spades and forks have developed a legendary reputation among gardeners for their workmanship and sturdy quality. These fine tools are now available to American gardeners for the first time.

The Joseph Bentley Gardeners Hand Tool Gift Set sells for $39.99 in fine gardening stores and online at, and

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