Everyone is good at something. Some people are naturally co-ordinated and to them, sports come easy. Others sing effortlessly, in tune every time. There are those who can draw almost anything. And then there are people like me who can’t draw, sing or walk six blocks in the snow without breaking my arm for a second time in two months. I do, however, excel at shopping and it’s that time of year when this particular talent is put to the test.
I love the thrill of the hunt, of finding that extra-special something for that super-special someone. I look for unique, vintage, or unexpected items, perhaps something the person wouldn’t think to buy for themselves. You know, that thing they didn’t know they needed before you gave it to them?
While this is all swell and good, there’s a dark side to my holiday shopping: I can’t help but come across things I just have to have for myself. For instance, I picked up Fuji Instax Mini cameras and film for my teenaged soon-to-be brother and sister in-law from the Lomography shop. But, while I was searching for their gifts, I came across a close-up Holga lens pack I hadn’t noticed before and promptly dropped it in my cart. It’s a small thing, it’s not expensive, it’s a perfect stocking stuffer. Merry Christmas to me.
Then there’s my business partner: he’s recently developed very strong feelings for my Spinner 360 camera. I’ve lent it to him, but they’re relationship seems to be growing more serious every day, so I fear that unless he gets one of his own, I’ll never see mine again. So it was off to the charming boutique just around the corner from my home that carries the city’s biggest selection of Lomography merchandise, where I didn’t find a Spinner (there’s still time for me to order one online, or get a friend to pick one up for me at the new Lomogaphy Gallery Store in Toronto), but did find plenty of other cameras, accessories and film — for myself.
Now I have a Diana Mini with flash package, those Holga lenses and yet more boxes of film. And my holiday shopping? Thankfully, it’s almost done. Hopefully, I’ve sated my shopping cravings for now, but there are still over three weeks left, and there is that Tunnelvision Lens I’ve had my eye on….
How do you deal with holiday shopping and what’s on your must-have list this season? Share your thoughts with me!
Pamela Klaffke is a former newspaper and magazine journalist who now works as a novelist and photographer. Her column appears weekly in the Analogue Lifestyle section of Lomography Magazine.