You know that old joke about how kids love the cardboard boxes that the new toys just came in, more than the actual plaything? Well, it’s actually not so much a joke as it is an irony slash scientific fact. In fact, it is so ironic that Alanis Morissette should have found a way to include it in her song of the same word- although I admit it is of difficult phraseology, and she probably wanted to but couldn’t figure out how to make it translate. Anyway, the fact remains, and Alanis’ song didn’t suffer for lack of trying.
To be honest, my husband I often take new toys out of the cardboard boxes and assemble them before giving them as gifts. To our own kids, that is. This is because it is really annoying when you give your kid a gift and they freak out and want it out of the box immediately, which is physically impossible. It’s actually impossible to get a new toy released and put together in any time under an hour, regardless of size, shape, or style. So, after the kids are in bed, we put on some tunes, pour some gingerale, and put those babies together. The next day they can set right in without anybody getting flustered, and when they discover the boxes their joy is truly complete. I have held onto cardboard boxes for months because the kids consistently played with them. Until they were becoming shredded and torn, and I began to find pieces of it all over the house.
This is part of the dilemma around the holidays. The kids are going to be opening these awesome looking presents, and all of those presents are going to be completely inaccessible without the select and amazing skills of Mom and Dad (“How bad do you want me to open this?…Just kidding!…But not really…”). Whereupon Mom and Dad will use the utmost care to open the cardboard boxes and A) save them for a rainy day, B) save them for spring cleaning, or C) save them to use for all of that other trash paraphernalia. More than likely, if the box is big enough it will also be taken to the toy room, considered an actual present.
In closing, don’t you hate it when you go to open a gift from your in-laws or your grandma and you see this brightly colored box, for perhaps a tablet or a laptop, but inside is actually an antique plate wrapped in newspaper and they just so happened to have rescued the box from your neighbor who was throwing it away? “Oh, Grandma, it’s perfect!”