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Edgerton woman’s nativity scene comes to life

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Ted Sullivan
December 14, 2009
— Winnie Winn has had a nativity scene outside her home for nearly 60 years, but it’s never been quite like this.

This year, life-size figures of her 20 great-grandchildren play the roles of Mary, Joseph, 10 angels, four shepherds, three kings and a drummer boy.


“There are 20 great-grandchildren on the front porch,” said Winn, 90. “It’s beautiful, and you know who they all are, too, because they’re that vivid and that good.”


Barb Winn, Winnie’s daughter, said the idea stemmed from a family Christmas tradition.


Winnie’s 10 kids performed a Christmas pageant at home while growing up. The kids always dressed up in costumes for the performance. The tradition was passed down to Winnie’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Patty Risch, also Winnie’s daughter, said she had the idea to have the great-grandchildren play the roles in the outdoor nativity scene as well as in the pageant.


She had all the great-grandchildren’s bodies traced onto cardboard for life-size cutouts. She then had costumes draped over them. Enlarged photos were used for the great-grandchildren’s faces.


“It’s quite a hoot. It really is,” Risch said. “I didn’t think so many people would be attracted to it, but they are.”


People often stop to admire the nativity scene, the sisters said. The great-grandchildren also got a kick out of it.


“The great-grandchildren really enjoyed seeing their faces on the characters,” Barb said.


On Sunday, Winnie and her family celebrated Winnie’s 90th birthday at her home. About 40 people attended the party.


They were already discussing what to do with the nativity scene next year.


“Who knows what we’ll do next year?” Risch said. “We might even have animals with people’s faces on them. We don’t know yet.”



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