Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A community Christmas welcome at Shattuck-St. Mary’s December 9, 2019





The kids.



The moms with new babies. For photos and conversations.



What a joy to stand aside and witness those magical moments Saturday afternoon at Shattuck-St. Mary’s during the private prep school’s annual Campus Christmas Walk. Each December I head to Faribault’s east side to take in this event which begins with a holiday figure skating show.


Families packed the crafting space set up in a new addition at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School on Saturday.


Family-oriented activities followed. Crafts and cookie decorating and all those Santa visits.


Musicians performed in the historic dining hall where guests also enjoyed cookies (including decorating of) and beverages.


And beautiful holiday music performed by students.


Holding the horses while riders board the wagon.



Off for a ride around campus.


And, outside Shumway Hall, horse-drawn wagon rides that circled guests around this historic campus.


Walking into a new addition at Shattuck, Randy noticed these words imprinted on the building: “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.”


What a gift this event is to all of us. Thank you, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, for opening your campus and connecting with the greater Faribault community, for building Christmas memories. I am grateful.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Celebrating Christmas, Shattuck-St. Mary’s style December 11, 2012

Shumway Hall on the Shattuck campus, decorated for the 2009 Campus Christmas Walk.

Shumway Hall on the Shattuck campus, decorated for the 2009 Campus Christmas Walk.

FOR A DECADE NOW, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School on Faribault’s east side has presented an annual Christmas gift to my community in the early December Campus Christmas Walk.

Visitors are welcome into the prestigious private prep school’s historic buildings to participate in activities like visiting with Santa, listening to musical performances, ornament making, lighting of a community Christmas tree, savoring holiday treats and, later, at one of Shattuck’s nearby ice arenas, watching a figure skating show.

When I last attended in 2009, a craft show and pinata breaking were also a part of the offerings. Additionally, I meandered through the decked-out-for-the-holidays hallways, appreciating aged stone buildings constructed by those who cared about detailed, fine craftsmanship.

The spotlight and cameras focus on "The Nutcracker on Ice" figure skaters.

The spotlight and cameras focus on “The Nutcracker on Ice” figure skaters.

This year I missed all of the Campus Christmas Walk activities on Saturday except “The Nutcracker on Ice,” presented by Shattuck-St. Mary’s figure skaters. What a treat to watch this classic holiday story unfold to a full house.

Because my husband and I arrived a wee bit late, we were seated too distant for me to get any publishable action photos with my non-telephoto lens Canon, although I certainly tried.

The cast, with the little Snowflakes on the right as audience favorites.

The cast, with the little Snowflakes on the lower right as audience favorites.

So, instead, I managed, at the end, to capture a few suitable images that showcase the pageantry, but certainly do not capture the athletic and theatrical skills woven into the students’ performances.

The skaters pose for post performance photos.

The older skaters pose for post performance photos.

For the most part, I am not a sports fan. But this storytelling figure skating, I enjoyed. And bonus, because this was a gift from Shattuck, admission was free.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling