I love this stocking stuffer. Every Christmas my mom-in-law drops a hyacinth bulb in my stocking as a little reminder to hang in there til spring. As soon as I get home I place it in a bud vase so that the water reaches just the tips of the root sprouts at the base of the bulb. Within a couple of days the roots begin to grow happily down and before I know it there's a little green sprout. Then there it is, new life right there in my kitchen when everything outside is still sleeping. This makes me happy.
See here for more information on stimulating bulbs to grow out of season, AKA forcing bulbs. Don't let all the various instructions scare you too bad. For the hyacinth bulbs, we've had lots of luck just making sure to properly package the bulb in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks so that it's conditioned. That's the only special treatment that I know of. After that it's just making sure the water level is good in the bud vase and we watch it grow.