Really Big Cardboard Box

It’s time for the ritual agonising about just how tacky, planet-destroying and brain-rotting one is prepared to be in the cause of one’s children having a thrilling half-hour on Christmas morning…

There are a lot of good blogs about great presents for kids that have no advertising budget and are not made of plastic. For example:’s geekdad on the-5-best-toys-of-all-time and lulastic’s sixty-great-gift-alternatives-to-toys. These focus on the life-giving and health-enhancing properties of dirt and cardboard. The Really Big Cardboard Box features as the single most universally appreciated and versatile present one can give.

Interestingly, both posts neglect to mention the nearly as joy-producing qualities of PAPER. What great stuff it is. So many uses. Fully recyclable. You may be aware that we at Cambridge Imprint are purveyors of excellent craft paper – a packet of 24 sheets of different patterns and colours, some of them unique creations that arise during the colour adjustment phase on the press and will never be seen again. (You may not believe it, but people have been known to ask what it’s for. What is it not for? It’s for everything. Collage. Paper chains. Paper clothes for your paper dolls. Origami stars. Messing about with glue and scissors with no clear end in view.) But revisiting your eight-year-old self: an entire packet of ordinary printer paper, pristine and yours to do with as you please, is one of the great presents of all time.

It won’t fit in a stocking, however, whereas our craft paper will.