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Two Little Jewels

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Two miniature jewels — a pop-up and fold-out nativity — reveal their beauty to the accompaniment of Gregorian Chant. (Mouseover the screen to pause, stop, start, or mute the video.)

The cyclamen flowers that decorate the cover of this miniature pop-up only hint at the beauty that awaits inside. 
Cyclamen pop-up crèche.

The fine printing, die-cut, and embossing of this pop-up nativity are even the more remarkable given its scale: most figures are less than an inch high (see video, top of page).

The Nativity tableau unfolds in eleven planes and four levels in this 4 x 2 5/8 inch miniature. You look at this excquisite pop-up and wonder: what nimble, small fingers, put it together so carefully—without in any way damanging any of the tiny pieces?

What most amazes one most, given it's small scale, is that the pieces are every bit as detailed as their counterparts in much larger, but similar, nativities.

And, as if by magic, with a simple hand motion, sheep, camels, elephants, shepherds, village men, women, and children, and the manger disappear behind white cyclamen petals.

A Christmas Mailing Card

A simple, gray-toned cover inscribed in pencil, "From Aunt Lena Short, Wessinton Springs, SD," opens to reveal another surprise: a miniature (4 x 3.25 x .75 inches) fold-out nativity. You open the cover, and a tiny light blue ribbon that is attached to the inside cover and a manger side, automatically opens the nativity.

Open the cover and a tiny ribbon that's attached to it and the manger unfolds the nativity. 
There are five planes, including two ethereal angels that float among clouds and the rays of the star of Bethlehem. One is unfurling a banner, and the other is blowing a trumpet, symbolizing the Good News of Christ's birth.

And, as if to satisfy more wordly celebrants, there's Santa on a sleigh full of toys pulled by two reindeer.

— Alexis

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