I became an accidental collector of glass bottles. My whole house would probably look like an
apothecary if I had them all out at once - but I have to admit, I kinda like that look. Rows of glass containing bits and potions. I don't know if I like that containment/organization or if I like how the contents of the bottle can make it so interesting, like a decoration itself.
Bottles are also great gift wrap! Fill them with the objects/substance of your choice, tie a bow and tag on them and there you have it.
If you don't already have some glass bottles they are easily found at craft stores like Michael's or garage sales or even Goodwill. Corks to keep the pretties contained can be found at craft stores, although I think mine came from Hi-School Pharmacy of all places.
The bottles in the photo are holding sunflower seeds, columbine seeds and...I'm drawing a blank on the third. Well that will be a surprise when I plant them! (and it's also a good reminder to label your bottles) All of the seeds I took from flowers growing at my Grandma's house. When I plant the seeds I will have living reminders of her and the beautiful yard she kept. [Problem for you is that there aren't many flower seeds still around in December - so write that down for next year and gather them in the fall.] "Living reminders" are a touching and thoughtful gift that your gardening friends will appreciate.
How about a message in a bottle? Make sure the bottle you buy has a large mouth and write a message or things you appreciate about a person, roll them up, tie them up and place them in the bottle. The recipient can take one out every day until they are all opened.
Have an herb garden? Fill bottles with dried herbs or herb salts. Or flavor an oil or make a vinegar and give them away in pretty bottles with accompanying instructions/ideas for use.
The only limits you have in using bottles are what can fit in the ones you have. So go forth and be creative!
When I wrote the title for this entry it reminded me of a quote I recently came across that I thought was a great: The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.