Have you ever heard of a sunshine box?
More than 50 years ago, sometime after Grandma Jobe came to live with us, the ladies from her church, probably the WSCS group (Women’s Society of Christian Service, predecessor of the United Methodist Women) sent her a sunshine box.
The tall cardboard box appeared wrapped on the outside with a collage of paper flowers but the top of the box was open. I’m thinking they made the collage with pages from seed catalogs. As a little girl, I thought it was beautiful.
Inside were a variety of personal-care products Grandma could use. I’m picturing a pink container of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder, for example. There was a devotional book – and I have it today on my bookshelf and a variety of other small gifts that Grandma could use or enjoy – such as the bright pink peppermint discs she always kept in her candy jar.
Of course being a little girl I was very interested in these gifts to Grandma.
But the takeaway was and is that I thought it was wonderful that they thought of Grandma in this way. More than the gifts, it was the thought that a group of friends thought about my grandma and cared for her. Each individual gift wasn’t costly or all that significant. But when gathered in that pretty box, they made an impact that I remember half a century later.
Last week I assembled a sunshine box for a friend who has a long-term illness and won’t get to return to her home for a while.
I gathered some books from my own collection that I thought she would enjoy reading and that I don’t need back, some envelopes, postage stamps, a clipboard with a notepad, some hand sanitizer, and small packets of tissues, some of my favorite teas and a new product I recently found and love.
Then I wrapped most of them singularly, just for drama. I gave her a choice to open the packages all at once or to open one a day. She chose to open one a day to stretch out the fun. A little something to look forward to.
One can’t have too much sunshine, can she? My friend lives in another part of the state and I can’t get over to see her much. But through these small tokens, she’ll see that I care. And that I’m sending her sunshine.
Have you ever heard of a sunshine box? Or received one?