Yes, this post is late, but then again my Christmas cards were delayed again this year. What were supposed to be Christmas cards quickly became holiday cards, meant to welcome the new year. If I had delayed them any further, they would’ve celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In addition to the usual procrastination, I was stumped about the card’s concept. Since I’ve started making my own cards, I’ve tried to either include a humorous element, something about Chico or both. It took some last-minute inspiration for me to get this year’s cards out the door.
After teasing it a few years ago, I was all set to do the “Sierra Nevada Santa” — my take on the iconic Coca-Cola Santa ads, but with local brew Sierra Nevada instead of sugar water. There were some hurdles: I don’t own a Santa suit and I started getting cold feet about the concept.
While people don’t give a second thought to the Coke Santa concept (except perhaps to remark about soft drinks contributing to obesity), I started to see some potential pitfalls with the Sierra Nevada incarnation. Although it’s all in good fun, I wondering if people would question combining beer with an iconic childhood figure. And speaking of beer, what sort of image does it sent to have a man responsible for sleighing across the world in a 24-hour period to be indulging in an alcoholic beverage? Yes, the reindeer do the flying, but the jolly old man does all the driving, so drinking and sleighing seemed out of the question.
I thought about replacing the Celebration Ale with one of Sierra Nevada’s fine gourmet mustards, but the visual of Santa spreading mustard on a cold-cut sandwich didn’t seem to work.
Also, I don’t own a Santa suit and my line on one dried up. Buying a suit would have cost at least $30 and I had to again consider how much it’s worth to do a comedy bit, especially since I would need a fake Santa beard too.
So Sierra Nevada Santa was put on ice for another year, but the concept may show up again in some different form in upcoming years. I also had another idea to do a side-by-side comparison showing Santa and me, but that concept wasn’t fully baked.
Christmas was fast approaching and I was still stumped. Thankfully, like most things in life, karaoke provided my salvation. I was at the Karaoke Rockstarz live-band karaoke show at Feather Falls Casino when I saw the show’s MC fire off an explosive canister of confetti.
Watching the colored debris waft gently the stage floor, I started thinking about making a snow angel with the confetti. During an intermission, I asked about how much the material cost and what a confetti snow angel look like. The MC was cooperative and we took a picture of me on the stage making the snow angel.
Unfortunately, I could see some problems — with the confetti all over the floor, the snow angel image couldn’t be easily seen. Laying on top of the confetti basically crushed it, but provided little context.
Sensing I was on the right track, I continued to develop the idea. Instead of paying a kingly sum for confetti, I thought I would make my own using colored construction paper and a paper shredder. However, buying construction paper would’ve cost about $30, so I looked for cheaper options.
A stop at the nearby Michael’s turned up some wrapping paper on sale for about $2.50 each. Sold.
There were different varieties, but all I needed were green and red. I supplemented those rolls with some old Ikea wrapping paper that I’ve held onto for years.
I ran home to shred up some confetti. I saved some time by cutting off large swathes of the wrapping paper, folding them lengthwise and feeding them into the shredder. In about 30 minutes, I had a big trash bag full of red, green and gold confetti. It was about half white colored because of the obverse side of the wrapping paper.
After that, I zoomed back to an area where there would be a relatively clean floor (to help make clean up a snap). For this phase, I had my friend Evan spread the confetti while I lay on the floor and waved my arms and legs in the customary snow angel pattern. Here’s sort of what it looked like:
We also thought it would be funny to take a photo of paper flying into my mouth, like that scene involving PSY in the music video “Gangnam Style.” Ultimately, the photo didn’t really turn out to be very flattering and it’s too hard to understand the context (it just looks like a bunch of colored paper on a fat guy’s face on the floor).
With the initial photos done, I needed to get the card ready for publication. At the same time, I was preparing to go to San Diego for the holidays.
It took a few days to get the cards ready to go. I tried to submit a design online, but I thought it would take too long to process. Thankfully, the people at the Carmel Mountain Ranch Costco were very accommodating on an in-store rush order. The design wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I think they turned out OK.
The cards were finished by Dec. 23. Christmas passed and a little procrastination settled in. The priority of sending the cards out fell behind spending time with family and going through some old boxes. However, I was able to get the cards mailed out the weekend before the New Year. Upon returning to Chico, I distributed nearly all of my local cards by the end of the first week of January.
As always, sending out Christmas cards is an evolving process. I think I have some good ideas for 2013, so I will hopefully be able to get the cards out sooner.
In any case, here is the 2012 card for all to enjoy. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!