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Snows recede to reveal Nativity scene’s Jesus

Woodland Care Center nursing director Marie Michlitsch wins the contest at the f1 / 2
Woodland Care Center nursing director Marie Michlitsch wins the contest at the f2 / 2

Christ has returned — at least a smaller, less-animated version of the Messiah has. The folks at The Good Samaritan Society-Woodland in Brainerd have waited for weeks for the newborn king to emerge from beneath about 8 feet of snow covering the senior care center’s ceramic Nativity scene.

Good Samaritan-Woodland activities director Kris Matich, said snow falling from the roof above the nativity scene covered the display, and accumulated well into spring.

“He’s been under there for months,” said Carol Hillman, a resident at the Good Samaritan.

Hillman, 79, said she’s been sitting faithfully each day at the window overlooking the Nativity scene waiting to see if the snow would melt.

“Everyday I’d come,” Hillman said. “Still, nobody there.”

That was until Thursday when out from under the snow appeared a little yellow crib holding the babe. Matich said waiting for baby Jesus turned into a contest at the center.

“It’s just been fun.” she said. “It gives the residents something to look at.”

Matich said looking turned into some friendly wagering and that led to a pool forming to see who would guess the date baby Jesus would be visible.

The contest drew in more than 60 guesses from residents and staff. Some more optimistic guesses thought Jesus would appear sometime in March, the more pessimistic estimates came up with July.

Or never.

The lucky winner who picked May 1 as the day the receding snow would reveal the Christ child was nursing director Marie Michlitsch. “I thought it was the most likely day,” Michlitsch said. “It just made sense, I guess.”

Michlitsch walked away from the contest with more than just bragging rights — she won $25 in chamber bucks that she said she fully intends to spend all in one place.

“Probably on candy,” she said.

As for Carol Hillman, she said she’s going to have to find a new hobby to occupy her time.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’ll have to start working on my puzzles.”

SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at or 855-5879.