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Spencer and Ryan
A goallie introduces his little brother to the joy of crèche making — and collecting
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In the foreground unfolds the Nativity, and in the background, two brothers usher in the New Year—Christmas and New Year's Greetings from Ryan and Spencer.
A special pop-up card for the grandparents, a fun afternoon for ten-year-old enthusiast — when he's not a goallie for his hockey team — and his little brother...


Ryan and Spencer pose for their Christmas card. Spencer, the oldest, is the crèche enthusiast; Ryan will try anything.
A Special card for Grandpa and Grandma

When Spencer and Ryan's mom, my friend Lisa, brought the boys over for their annual crèche making, little did they know that they'd end up posing as well.

Not they minded: Spencer and Ryan are old hands on photoshoots, having made their debut a few years ago in one of our kids books.

Since we had a whole day, I asked what did they have in mind besides assembling their nativities?

Spencer said that he was thinking of a special card for his grandparents, and Ryan, ever the good sport, nodded his approval.

It occured to me to make the boys part of the presentation, and you see them, above, posing for their card. They gamely held their arms and hands in the proper position, Ryan holding a book and Spencer a small piece of wood. In the nativity, Ryan would be holding onto the manger, and Spencer onto a ribbon from which hangs a calendar and a horseshoe.

A horseshoe for good luck. A calendar, of course, for the New Year. In fact, a large, red, number "1" is emblazoned above the word "January" in Greek.
Ryan and Spencer thought it "cool" not to change the name of the month into English.

Then while I spend about 45 minutes with Photoshop—with about that many layers—Spencer looks through stacks of paper nativities and Ryan announces that he'd going downstairs to play with the puppies for a while.

But soon he's back, asking, "Isn't it about time for lunch?

It is. But not before their card file—and Epson's wonderful "Double-Sided Matte Paper" is in the printer.

After lunch, when two copies of the card (see top of page) are finished, Spencer and Ryan are excited because they're planning to give his dad's parents their pop-up card Christmas Day. Lisa's parents, who are in Baltimore for Christmas, will see their card on the Web—on Spencer's "Enthusiast" page.

Before saying goodbye, there's one more question: "When will you be coming over to my house" Spencer asks, "to photograph my other crèches and do my interview?"

Interview? It turns out, Spencer has been browsing crechemania.com for a while. "The other day," he says, " I wanted to show my friends at school all your downloadable nativities, but couldn't remember how to spell 'Crechemania.'

Lisa, the kid is hooked, I'm telling you.
As I write down "Crechemania.com" for Spencer he says, "I really like to make crèches. I love to hang them up in my room. They're really awesome."




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