This Christmas memory was originally posted in 2008.
My grandparents always owned the latest Polaroid cameras, and they passed on that tradition in 1977 when they bought my brother and me Polaroid Super Shooter cameras for Christmas.
When I unwrapped the gift, I remember thinking how cool the box was. I liked the box so much that I kept my camera in it for the almost 30 years I owned it. Not long ago I learned that the box, like all Polaroid packaging of the day, was designed by Paul Giambarba, a top designer who was a pioneer of clean, strong brand identity. I remember how easy it was to spot Polaroid film on the drug store shelf because it had the same rainbow-stripes design elements as the camera’s box. Film and developing for my garage-sale Brownie cost about half what a pack of Polaroid film cost, but the colorful Polaroid boxes on the shelf always tempted me. I often decided that next time I bought film, I would save my allowance for the whole month it took to afford a pack of Polaroid.
My brother also got a guitar that Christmas morning. My new camera came with a pack of film, so I loaded it and shot this photo of him on his first day with his guitar. He played this guitar for 20 years – he looked strange as an adult playing a kid-sized guitar! Then on another Christmas day while I was still married, my wife gave him her old guitar. Our first son, who hadn’t been walking long, wouldn’t leave his side as he played that evening. He looked up at his uncle with wide amazement in his eyes, holding onto the side of the La-Z-Boy to keep himself steady.
May this holiday bring you the gift of excellent memories to share with your loved ones down the road.
Next: Christmastime television from Chicago.