Cardboard Boxes and Channuka

By Camille Grahame

For me growing up, Channukah was always such a special time of year. We celebrate Channukah coming together as families, friends, colleagues, schools or youth groups.

One of my fondest memories growing up was of our family celebrating Channukah. My cousins, siblings and I would all go to my Grandparents house, filled with glee and excitement.

After dinner our reward for eating our greens would be revealed – a large cardboard box filled with a colourful array of wrapping paper and packages of all shapes and sizes. Now don’t get me wrong, we loved our presents and knew how lucky we were to have them, but the real Channukah joy and lasting memories came from the cardboard box!

The box, which to the adults was a mere functioning object, to us was a wonderland of endless opportunity. One year it constituted part of a living room fort, another year we all tried to fit inside it (unsuccessfully!). It was the back to our tortoise, the table for our tea parties and the centre piece to our family Channukah.

Many a fight was had over who would get to keep the box after the festivities, even when there wasn’t much left to be taking home.

In a world where young people are spending an increasing amount of time staring at screens, I’ve come to see that this kind of creative childhood magic should be cherished. After making my way through the RSY-Netzer journey, I have recently joined RSY-Netzer’s movement work team. I am so excited to be working with the amazing, creative and inspiring young people who come together to create magical camps for our community,  encouraging them to use their imagination and experience the wonders a simple box can create all throughout the year.