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Jennifer's Crèche — Yours free, to download and assemble!

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
 

Jennifer's Crèche — a colorful depiction of The Adoration of the Magi and Shepherds — is a present to paper nativity afficionados everywhere from Jennifer Hooton of Salt Lake City, and shown much larger than its 8 x 6.25" size.

 
Jennifer Hooton. 
"Alexis, my dear friend," writes Jennifer Hooton from Salt Lake City, "I hope this note finds you well and happy. I have often thought of you throughout the year, wondering what fabulous part of the world you were working in.

"I have acquired some more antique crèches, though I don't know how old they are. I can only attest that they are on old, yellowed, cardboard — and that some are falling apart.

"But I gingerly disassembled and scanned them in the hope that you could put one or two on the Crèchemania site. If you are so inclined, and if you have the time. Please do not feel obligated — I know how extremely busy you are, and the efforts you have gone to with the Crèchemania.com are greatly appreciated.

"So please — whatever you do, whatever you choose to offer or not on Crechemania.com will be fine.

"In a way, it seems strange to say, 'I've missed you,' but that is exactly how I feel, even though we have only talked once, on the phone. You and the crèches have become woven into the fabric of my life, and I look forward to this season when we reconnect like old friends.

"I'm still planning on having you stay with me whenever you finally come to Utah.

"Take care," — Jennifer

 
Jennifer's Crèche is so simple to assemble — cut along the white dotted lines; fold towards you along the blue; away from you along the red; and insert the Magi and Shepherds pieces in the side wall slots. 
It's always good to hear from Jennifer. And she is right, I have been a bit busy: I'm still trying to catch up after my two-and-a-half-month adventure in Estonia, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey, and Greece. (I love my job!)

I wish I had met Jennifer when I was shooting at Snowbird, the charming, Austrian chalet filled, ski resort just outside of Salt Lake City. It would have been great fun touring historic Salt Lake City with her, especially the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that I used to love watching at Christmas on our black-and-white TV.

Who knows? If my friend Celso Rosa from Brazil could knock on my door, is it so far-fetched to contemplate that I might be doing the same on Jennifer's? I've would love to meet her, not to mention photograph the stained glass windows that adorn the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City.

They were designed by the Royal Bavarian Institute in Munich, the firm of Francis Xavier Zettler, son-in-law of Herr Mayer, whose company created the beautiful Cathedral of the Epiphany Adoration of the Magi and Adoration of the Shepherds windows in Sioux City, Iowa.

Jennifer, who's a member of the Crèche Guild — Crèchemania's Yahoo Groups mailing list — has been most generous with her online friends in the past as well.

She has generously offered two beautiful nativities that you have been downloading and making: The Magi Nativity, which has been downoading an amazing 2,024 times, and the Vintage 1940 Crèche, which is not far behind with 1,095 downloads.

Along with her treasured crèches, Jennifer has also shared treasured memories: "I received my first paper crèche from my church when I was 10 years old. It has been a treasure ever since, and every year I display it at Christmastime, even though it's become quite battered looking. (My Siamese cat even bit a few minor holes in one of the shepherd's sheep!).

"I chuckle to look at the reverse side of my crèche now -- it contains my silly, girlish 10-year-old handwriting in hot pink marker, of course!

"The crèche I am sharing with you [the Vintage 1940 Crèche reminds me of my parents, who well remember the 1940's.

"It was made just a few years before my father was drafted to serve in World War II at age 18. It comforts me to know that such an emblem of peace was created at at time when the world was in such turmoil.

"The artwork used in antique paper crèches has a stylized, old-fashioned look which makes me feel like a child again. Seeing a crèche always gives me a renewed sense of our reason for celebrating: our Savior was born!

"It warms my heart to know that so many others like myself in the Crèche Guild and on Crèchemania also share this love of such a sacred symbol."

 
Jennifer's Crèche is assembled from just three pieces. 
  
Simple construction
Jennifer's Crèche
, colorfully depicting The Adoration of the Magi and Shepherds, creates such a beautifully three-dimensional tableau of The Nativity it's hard to believe it's made up of just three pieces.

The Stable: Rough planks of wood form the manger featuring a double Bethlehem Star; a Gloria in Excelsis Deo! banner; and an open window through which an ox appears.

On the right and left of the Stable, respectively, are found two shepherds and a Magi holding a large vase.

The Holy Family: The Child, in its plank manger, the Mother, and Joseph are depicted in the Holy Family piece which is inserted in the side walls slots closest to the back wall.

The Magi: The two other Kings of the East, shown kneeling and holding gifts, are shown on the Magi piece, which is inserted into the other set of side wall slots, holds the crèche firm with its two tab notches.

With the roof of the Stable and the two kneeling shepherds are folded outwards, the three-dimensional effect of Jennifer's Crèche is marvelous.

Assembly
Full assembly instructions are found on our Jennifer's Crèche Download page, but I would like to say here that this paper nativity is so simple to assemble, even a child could do it.

After the Stable, Holy Family, and Magi pieces have been cut from your printout (see image at left), an X-acto knife is necessary to cut along the white dotted lines of the Stable. (If you're helping a child to create Jennifer's Crèche, you'll want to do the X-acto knife step yourself.)

When all the cuts are made, you simple fold along the blue lines (towards you) and red (away from you), insert the Holy Family and Magi pieces in the side wall slots (as shown at top of page) and you're ready to make another one!

"I would like to challenge everyone," Jennifer says, "to make and distribute as many paper crèches to all of your family, friends, and acquaintances as possible!"

Thanks so much, Jennifer. See you, sometime — in Salt Lake City?

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