How My Dad Built His Krippe

full krippe

       This is how he did it! It all began soon after Thanksgiving when he and I went out to our woods to search for moss. It had to be the right kind - soft and easy to lift out of the ground. Some of it had tiny plants growing on it or little groups of red-tipped fungi that was perfect to make the krippe meadows and mountains lifelike. This moss filled two or three boxes - we were very careful not to allow dirt to touch the top of the moss.

       Two weeks before Christmas, he began to build a waist-high platform along one wall of the living room. On top of the platform, he would arrange gnarled and tortured-looking pieces of Schlacken or slag that he had found long ago. It had come from some old factory furnace and he saved it from year to year to use in building the Krippe. He arranged the Schlacken to make mountains and caves. He left flat places for meadows and in the center, he placed a stable so that it was surrounded by the mountains. Then he would wind colorful Christmas lights around the entire thing. It was really pretty to see the lights peeking out from the caves and the mountain crevasses.


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Photos by Jimmy Allen
Background by "Web Clip Art"

© copyright 1999-2001
mary ann allen