Blame it on the Photoshop class I took at SMC back in 2002. It was the end of the semester, and I was so swamped that I had to choose between finishing my final project or sending out Christmas cards. While throwing together a composite of my cats surfing, I realized I could just add a few holiday elements to the image and voilà! I could have my card and final, too.
Now my personalized holiday card — no matter how bad the graphics may be — is almost expected by most of my friends. They get a kick out of the inanity of my cats’ disparate religions and the amateurish compositing of images that are only a step up from Colorforms. And, I have to say, I enjoy coming up with such absurd concepts, even during one of the biggest time crunches of the year.
So, without further ado, here’s a look back at the cards from years’ past.
2002: Cats Surfing
This took far longer to put together than it should have. I already had the ocean shots from a previous surfing photo project, but when I decided to add the cats, I learned why they say never to work with kids or children. The shot of Koshka was actually one of her going downstairs, which only took about, oh, 15 tries. Chandler never did cooperate in posing properly, which is why he looks like a dufus. This was mailed as a single-sided postcard.
2003: Feline Diversity
After the response from my hastily put-together card the year before, I felt pressured to do it again. This time, however, I heeded the lesson learned the previous year and opted not to try to get them to pose. This was a shot I already had lying around, so all that remained was to throw some headwear on them. Many people were shocked to find that Chandler was the Jewish one of the two.
2004: Sans Chats
Wishing to avoid the Crazy Cat Lady label, I switched to a feline-free card in ’04. I learned that the adage should be amended to read “Never work with cats, kids, or nature.” Getting this shot just right took almost as many snaps as with the fluffy children, and in the end I did just as much Photoshop work.
2005: The Lost Year
I don’t recall not sending a card this year, but I can’t seem to find any evidence that proves otherwise — no files on my computer, no recollection of some Photoshopped cat zaniness. Alas, the collection shall have to go incomplete.
2006: On-the-Fly, Web-Only E-Card
I didn’t even get around to snail-mailing cards last year, so I had to settle for a hastily assembled card that wasn’t even emailed until just around New Year’s. Moments after hitting the send button, I realized I could have made this a tad more festive with hornblowers, champagne, and confetti. Neither cat looks very amused.
2007: Having a Ball
I actually had a moment to put a little extra effort into this year’s card, both the snail mail and online versions.