The Empty Bottle/the Humble Gift


I’ve come to despise this time of year for so many reasons. First, it is a commercialized season where business concentrate on increasing profits and avoiding losses. Decreasing costs include mandatory overtime at the detriment of an employee and their family’s personal life. Poor people choose to work longer hours because they need the money and companies don’t want to increase their cost of business by hiring new employees. What appears as a Win-win situation is actually a major exploitation of the worker by big business. Profits, profit and more profit are all companies, stores, business think about and gimme, gimme, gimme are the attitude of many people during this time of year. Yuck! Plus, in the mist of all of this I struggle with grief.

This year has been hard for me in so many ways. All those people I loved and buried has taken its toll on my soul. Recently I lost a friend who suffered with the same disorder I have. How encouraging.  Physically I have not felt good and that has slowed down my Uber work. Funny money and strange change during the holiday season have a way of turning a sunny disposition into a scowl. Since gift giving is a part of the Christmas tradition, it is expected for one to express what they would like as their gift. But this year, maybe it’s my health, maybe its my pocket, it seems to me that people are getting more aggressive in their expressions of their desires. It’s like, no one is asking, they are demanding. Ugg!!!

Anyway, just because I don’t have a lot of money don’t mean I don’t want to give gifts to the people I love. I want to give them  something that will bring a little cheer. So this is what I decided: this year I will focus on the principles of Kwanzaa and limit my gift giving to what I made. Gift #1: I will share a plant

I had a huge pothos that was slowly dying, so rather sit and watch it die, I decided to share the healthy part of the plant. As you can see, I used and old water bottle as a new flower pot.


Great idea, right?photogrid_1482465778761

Ummm…. I don’t think so. This looks entirely too cheap.  I like the idea of using an empty bottle as a flower pot; I’ve done it many, many times as an elementary teacher. So I examined my options.


That Listerine bottle has a nice form or shape, but I don’t have a saw to cut the neck off. An old seasoning/spice bottle is cute, but too small. I’m liking this Pepper Mill jar!

Pepper Mill won. Punch holes in the bottom so the plant can drain and remove the labels. If you or your husband have a drill, this part of the task will be a lot easier. If not, this hole punching part can be tedious. I punched in 4 holes.


Make sure the holes are good holes and the water can flow thru. I used a lighter and burned a section on the bottom. That made the plastic easier to push the screw driver through. Now use the soil from the original plant and insert a piece of the plant into the jar. Use a spoon to pat the soil in place.

I still have plant left so I had to find another bottle  and repeat the process.photogrid_1482465042438

This is where my instructions differ from what I actually did. If you feel the empty jar is too plain to use as a flower pot, decorate the jar before you add the plant. I’m sure the labels will leave a little residue that you might not want included in your gift.

This is what your gift plants will look like.img_20161222_224819

So now what? Visit your local Dollar Tree or Dollar General or anywhere you can go to get something for almost nothing.

This decorative duck tape was $1 each.

Add the tape to the bottles to add some color and beauty.


Well, my mom always said that a little goes a long way. I should have put the tape around once to cover the label residue, but no, I thought I was a real artist…and..I…made the damn thing ugly. So now what????? Wrap it in some tin foil and keep it moving.photogrid_1482471968699

You have choices here:

  • You can give the plants in the plain empty jars
  • You can decorate the jars in any manner you choose
  • You can simply wrap the jars in a fabric, a paper or  aluminum foil.

Mother’s Day is coming and you may have a plant or two that you would like to share.

Happy Holidays and thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you did and your comments are always welcomed.

Coming up: My second gift for Kwanzaa


      1. Doing really great — experiencing a lot of gratitude for my life. Thank you for asking. Learning and growing. I hope you are doing wonderfully. ❤ Have a blessed New Year!! Love, Debbie


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