Nothing better than a new box of crayons


A few days ago I celebrated National Coloring Book Day. At least as much as one can celebrate such a holiday.

It seems to me that this is a fitting time to commemorate the day, as it’s time to buy school supplies, and for the younger children a box of crayons is always on the list. Besides, it’s hard to do a coloring book without a box of crayons, or to celebrate National Coloring Book Day, either.

Do you remember what a heady feeling it was to open a brand new box of crayons? Of course, the bigger the box the better, but regardless of the number of crayons in that new box they were all pointy, lined up in order, bright and perfect, with so much potential ahead of that box of crayons. And there was a specific smell you couldn’t get anywhere else when the box was opened for the first time, as I remember.

It didn’t take long, though, before those perfect crayons were smudged with other crayons, rounded, and their wrappers torn. Those colors were still usable, but it was rather sad to see them in such a state.

A really good coloring book became worn with use, too. My favorite books were the ones that I could color when a friend came to my house to play. She took the page on one side while I colored the other. It was a companionable, pleasant thing to do. And when we finished coloring, we would each put our names on the page we colored.

My grandma used coloring books to trace the simple images onto quilt blocks or tea towels to embroider. I have a couple of quilts she did like that.

Coloring books have a long history, as the first one was marketed by McCloughlin Brothers in the late 1800s. The company continued to produce coloring books until the 1920s, when they merged the Milton Bradley Company.

Some years back, adult coloring books hit the market. They feature designs to color that are much more involved and intricate than children’s coloring books. Adult coloring books are promoted as a way to reduce stress. You don’t have to be connected to any device or network to enjoy coloring, and you don’t have to go anywhere to color, although you can.

I have to admit that I bought my own coloring book a few years back when the hobby was popular. New colored pencils, too. And I also must admit that I’ve not taken up either one of them yet. Who knows why I’ve not gotten into this coloring phase when I thought I would.

Maybe I should invite a friend over to color.