You can grow your own herbs and natural remedies right at your door, and with a bit of luck, and sunshine, or light from your bulbs this time of the year, you can grow the most beautiful present anyone could possibly receive. Rosemary and thyme can be found in little starts at the nurseries, but for annuals like basil and parsley, you need to start your own seeds. Keep the pot in a warm, sunny or well-lighted place all winter long, and in the spring, you can re-plant outdoors.
Herbal medicine has been around for millenia. I am not trying to sell you any products here, but remind you that what you put in your body sustains you in more ways than you know. Herbs, garlic, onions and ginger all help the digestion, as well as enhance the taste and the smell of food. When I think of my mother, I whip up a plate of spaghetti, redolent with basil and garlic and I'm instantly transported and reliving all my days at the kitchen counter.
In this season of commercialism, I'm planting various herbs, with garlic and chives for my friends. I will label the plant shoots, and add a note with suggestions and recipes for the culinary neophyte.
I guarantee that this is not a gift that will end up in a pile in the back closet.
Be sure you plant one for yourself!