To me December isn't December without a pot of jolly paperwhite bulbs jostling each other as they compete to be the first of their tribe to bloom and fill the house with their weirdly spring-like smell. But this year's paperwhite was a bargain- basement one from Trader Joe's, $3.00 for a single bulb in a little white ceramic pot. I dutifully misted its potting soil every day and kept the pot in our sunniest window. But the sunny days this past December were few, and the poor paperwhite slowly raised only a single slender stem, followed eventually by two more equally slender stems. When the stems began to leaf out, I stood a charlotte beneath the modest foliage, and I continued to mist.