Holiday gift ideas are many at your local nursery: Tools and books make great presents, as do festive-looking plants such as poinsettias, azaleas, cyclamen and Christmas begonias. Poinsettias should be kept cool and out of drafts, because they drop their green leaves when the temperature and humidity change. Cyclamen will last until Easter if they are kept cool and given plenty of light (in a window that faces east, for instance). Azaleas fail when placed in warm places. And the beautiful Christmas begonias should always be kept moist and fairly warm and be given lots of light.
Frost warnings should be taken seriously. Listen to radio and television weather reports for reliable information on the probability of freezing temperatures. When that time comes, cover plants with cloth or paper; the warmer air rising from the ground will be trapped and will keep the plants safe. An example of how that works is found when a border of tender plants freezes except under the leaves of an overhanging tree. A commonly held belief in Southern California is that if it rains during the day, it won't freeze that night; but it could very well freeze the next night. Also, they say that as long as the sky is heavily overcast, it will not freeze; but if it clears up at midnight, watch out.