For Christmas I bought my mom a temporary, seasonal greenhouse that she can use in the spring to put her plants out when it isn't warm enough yet to have them outside, or to start her seeds whatever. This is mostly because she and my father in law have this thing where they want to beat me to the first ripe tomato. Never happens. Maybe later this spring I'll let you in on my winning secret. It's pretty simple really - and just requires knowing how to keep the plants happy.
They are dead set determined because, from a zonal point of view they SHOULD beat me by about 2 weeks at least. I live at a higher altitude and it is usually 5-8 degrees cooler here than where they live. My father in law SHOULD beat my mom by about a week. (that's about 50-50 at this point.) Here is an example. My father in law's daffodils are in full bloom right now. My mom's daffs are just about to bloom the buds are just about right there.
Meanwhile at my house, the reticulated irises are blooming, but the crocuses are just coming out of their buds - bud stalks aren't even fully up on my daffs.
Back to the greenhouse. I bought one for each my mom and my father in law - telling them I was trying to help them out - it won't their issues are farther down than when they start their plants. My mom just turned 80 last month, and was never mechanically inclined, so buying her a greenhouse meant putting it together every spring, but Curt is the good son-in-law so he doesn't mind. So he spent his morning off building a greenhouse.
Of course this now puts some pressure on my father in law, because he feels "behind". Hee hee hee. Yes, I'm kind of being mean, but you know "old people" need something to piss them off enough every morning to get out of bed and get moving!!!