CHENNAI: Some like getting creative with cupcakes, others with canvasses. C A John puts on his thinking cap every Christmas to assemble the perfect crib. Sure it has the statuettes of the baby Jesus, the three wise men, all the animals that visited and so on. But what sets this Kodambakkam resident apart from any enthusiastic Christian this season is that his cribs are both handcrafted and upcycled. And there’s always a theme involved. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve used everything from green Pothys covers (which formed the base of the marsh for his Lotus crib) to sugarcane husk for a Kerala-style house boat,” he tells us proudly.
Ironically, all of this is from a 58-year-old who spends his days working at an engineering construction firm! “My nights through November are usually spent working on my crib,” he lets on. And this time around, it’s been designed in the form of a giant birthday present — five-feet-tall to be exact, with a simple message: ‘Happy birthday.’ “I’ve used the cardboard box that came with my fridge which forms the outer shell,” he tells us. And inside, you’ll find everything from paper stars to straw to tea powder used for the mud in the manger... Running close to a decade of crib creations, it doesn’t surprise us that he’s already brainstorming for Christmas 2015.