A box. That’s the least expensive, most utilized gift to give to any child under the age of six. Grinning toddlers crawl through their cardboard caves, mount their imaginary stallions and shimmy under bridges, totally ignoring the mock computer dancing with lights that was housed inside just moments before.
Michele Savaunah Zirkle
We know this, but tend to buy the expensive, digital toys that light up anyway. Not just toys for our boys and girls, but gadgets for ourselves. Often, we buy into the holiday shopping buzz and create lists we feel will make us or our loved ones happier, more content, when what we may need the most is the empty box that is missing from our list. We wrestle our way through the endless lines of frazzled customers looking for deals that sparkle the most. We jump on the price-buster mania wagon and roll through the aisles of fluff and stuff till our heads are spinning faster than the candy canes dancing in the kids’ heads. We click and order and shop till we drop as our longing to fill the few inches of space left in our overflowing closets increases all the while feeling more overwhelmed with a deeper longing for the creativity a simple empty box could provide. Storage units hold possessions that are not needed or, at the least, no longer add to our happiness, but what if we revise our list to include the wishes we most desire. What if we think outside the proverbial box, and while the acquisition craze runs rampant in cyberspace and stores everywhere, we clear our list and start fresh? Consider the mind is a box you can empty and, just like your closet, needs cleaned out occasionally. Try closing your eyes and picture yourself as a child with a box in hand. What size is it? Is it rugged or smooth? Is it a city you’ve always wanted to visit or a pond you most enjoy watching the geese flock over? What can you place inside it that will make your soul sing? Maybe sit in silence for a while and let yourself feel the gift of freedom this empty box provides or take an easy walk through the leaf-laden pathway of the metro-park, far away from the crowds, and permit yourself to enjoy your creation—your own special list that glistens with true joy. Life doesn’t have to be a Pandora’s box with chaotic surprises inside—unless we wish it to be that way. We’re the ones placing the would-be experiences into the box. We can let fear dictate our desires and choose to leave the lid closed. We can spend the first half of our lives collecting things and the secondhalf cleaning out our overstuffed basement, or we can clear the back deck for that barbeque or belly-dancing class we’ve been wanting to host. Just remember, whether you stack the garage so full the car gets parked curbside, or you have an open space in which to gaze at the moon, the choice is yours. The list is yours to create—yours to experience—to keep as is or to let dangle from the vine and die so inspiration can grow in its place. Where ever you decide to shop for this season, may your box-filled path find you giggling all the way.