Now that my parents’ birthday celebrations are safely past, I can add two more Econsiderate gift ideas to the list: address stickers with a personal image or emblem, and plants.
In our family’s most recent Annual Easter Egg Decorating Contest (we have rules, categories and ribbons), my Dad painted this great Picasso-like image of a hummingbird. I took a pic and flattened it in Photoshop, as the original was distorted by being painted on, er, a egg. Superior Labels let me upload the image easily and had a good range of formats and typefaces; the address labels came out just as pictured, and shipped fast. Cost was $20 for a roll (I think the quantity was 300 labels), plus $3.75 shipping and handling. Easy peasy, and my parents (said they) really liked them. If it’s as I hope, these will give the folks a little smile every time they mail out an envelope — plus, as with the best Econsiderate gifts, it’s both small and consumable, so won’t junk up their house forever. If they really do like them, Superior makes reordering easy.
Now, the other idea turned out better in conception than in execution, for me, at least: I ordered seeds of a somewhat hard-to-find plant and planned to raise them to give to my Mom. The first part went fine: Burpee sells seeds of these lovely double petunias for $4.95; they have many other gorgeous flowers, tasty veggies, gourmet herbs, etc. Many gardening centers will give away plastic growers’ pots, and in fact I already had some old four-pack pots to raise them in. And Mom is an avid, accomplished gardener, so adding baby plants to her menagerie isn’t a burden. All fine. Except I do tend toward the sepia-toned thumb, and the seedlings did not actually sprout. But even full-grown plants are a bargain (viewed in terms of pennies per drachm of beauty, how can you beat six violas for $2.99?) and I found a big lush pot of lavender double petunias to give her instead. She loved ’em.