Blog: Opening the Box

Opening the Box

- a holiday blog by Jan

Smile – it’s holiday time! Back in October when we looked ahead at 3 months of schedules, we saw before us our Rose Brooks Coat and Sweater Drive, Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, the Election, our Holiday Open House, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, and I may be missing several more events. If I remember correctly we didn’t necessarily have smiles on our faces at the moment. Then we thought of all the good that could be included in each event and we smiled and laughed and got to work. 

Now we’re in Thanksgiving week and more than half of the list is behind us. In our front windows are nativities from all over the world and our holiday “tree” made of colorful boxes. The idea for the tree came before we actually decided on our holiday theme. Painting and building the colorful “tree” brought smiles and laughter to the momentous day after the election. We were creating beauty to share our World’s Window “world” with all of you. To share the creative hands and stories of artisans from all over the world. To celebrate diverse cultures and religions and peoples. To share a world of fair trade and upcycling and eco-consciousness and gifts that give back.
Our holiday theme conversations ranged from “inside the box” to “shop outside the box” to “it’s in the box” to “smiles in a box” to “delivering smiles” and more. We wanted shopping and gifting from World’s Window to bring smiles here in Kansas City and, in some fashion, around the world. We thought of the beautiful items nestled in our front window in our box “tree”. We thought of the excitement and anticipation of the unknown in a wrapped package. We had our theme: 
Opening the Box 
Consider the joy and smiles when opening a wrapped box. Consider the thoughtfulness of the giver in choosing fun, handmade, special gifts. Consider gifts that celebrate a world of understanding and all peoples. The mystery and excitement and possibilities of 
Opening the Box 
Then, somehow, as I repeated that phrase several times, it took me back to when our daughters were quite young and attending P.S.1 Elementary School. In their study of the story of Pandora’s box, they considered how bad and angry things were unleashed when the box was opened. However, the last to emerge from the box was a wee small winged creature – Hope. The students all made representations of that small creature and a very special student, Cody Nichols, created this lovely bird. Cody was our daughter Caitlin’s designated “heart friend” at the school.  
Cody was ill when he put feathers and glitter together and said, “I didn’t know hope was a bird.” Cody died of AIDS at age 7, not much later than his bird of Hope was created. This photo by Derik Porter later became part of a fund-raiser for The Permanency Planning Project, uniting AIDS orphans with adoptive families in the Kansas City area.
Cody's Bird of Hope from Pandora's Box 
Opening the Box – and out comes hope. Words from a child. Seems perfect for right now as we gather as friends and family and give thanks for all the goodness in our lives. This month as we choose gifts for each other. In January as we start a new chapter in our country. 
Hope sustains us. It causes us to choose mindfulness. It holds our hands when we make sure the basic and sustainable needs of all are met. It helps us walk through tough times. It moves us to help create new partnerships within and around our world for lasting peace. And hope smiles. 
Celebrate the season by Opening the Box. And smile.