Originally created 12/25/05

Biz bites

Poinsettia tops potted-plant list

It's the plant for the season: the colorful poinsettia, a native of Central America and the floral decoration for Christmas.

A large seller of the bloom, Initial Tropical Plants Inc. of Riverwoods, Ill., says its orders rose nearly 10 percent over last winter, to $1.1 million.

More than 65 million poinsettias are sold every year in the U.S., making it the best-selling potted plant, according to the company.

Next year, try this out for Christmas

Have the holidays put a burden on your bank account? Next year, provide some gifts with deeper meaning.

The Center for a New American Dream, a consumer group in Takoma Park, Md., that advocates controlled, environmentally sound spending, recommends:

  • Focus on fun rather than gifts. Consider a night of board games or a theme party. Make the gathering a potluck so nobody shoulders too much work but everyone enjoys tasty food.
  • Give a personal gift certificate offering baby-sitting, a home-cooked dinner or a monthly lunch date for someone you love.
  • Create a calendar of family photographs and artwork for relatives.
  • Collect favorite recipes from relatives and assemble them as a book.
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