When I was very young, perhaps five or six, I received a gift. It was a homemade box that my Great Uncle Lee had made me. It was rectangular, small, but big enough to hide candies, or photos, or pens, or whatever treasures I should encounter. It had a picture of me on the front with a little frame. My small fingers could easily unclasp the latch to peer inside. Such a simple gift but such a meaningful one. In the world of mass marketing and advertising, in a world of throw away and break easy gifts, what a magnificent gift that box was.
I thought of this as I painted a plain box. I needed a box to hold sacred feathers in. I picked up one at Michael’s that was plain and unfinished. I suppose one could easily build one, but I have never been one to build anything easily. I painted it a lovely turquoise. I thought a white silhouette of a feather painted on top would be striking but it turned out looking spindly and unfinished. Emily took the box from me and properly painted on a feather. Perfect. I could add a clasp or a ribbon to hold it shut but it closes so that is enough for me.
A box given as a gift, carefully embellished or painted. Decoupaged photographs on front or vintage newspaper, painted flowers or magical glitter, all depending on whom the box is meant for, is a personalized gift. A mother might have hers filled with photos or letters or notes of appreciation. A graduate may have a journal and a bit of cash added. A child may have a tokens of treasure or an empty box for the imagination. Goodness, a box has infinite possibility. A decorated box is a perfect gift.