The mom has never been minted who doesn't like to dress up
her family for the holidays.
But no mom puts the torment in her
children's Christmas like Sue Johnson.
"Oh my God," gasps Sue's son
Michael as he pulls a sheep costume out of a plastic sack at the Woodbury Proex
Michael is 21 years old.
There are more sheep
costumes for his sisters: 26-year-old Erica and 29-year-old Valerie.
"This is probably the most ridiculous one yet," says Michael shaking his
head as he holds up the costume his mother has made by hand.
reminded of the bunny suit worn by Ralphie in the film "A Christmas Story."
Under a scarf nearby, delighting in the scene unfolding before her, is
"I'm the shepherd's wife," she smiles.
Her family knows her
as a woman used to getting what she wants, especially when it comes to the
families annual Christmas card photo send to nearly 200 homes of family and
"I call my wife, 'She who must be obeyed," smiles Sue's husband
Rob, dressed in a shepherd's costume. "When she wanted us to march down Highland
Parkway in the year we were dressed as toy soldiers we kind of balked at that.
We drew the line there."
But so far, just there, as the Johnson siblings
grew from children to adults dressed as wrapped Christmas presents, colored
lightbulbs and snowmen.
Even their advancement into respectable
professions didn't stop their mom.
Erica Riehm is a teacher.
Valerie Johnson is an emergency room physician at Hennepin County
"Yes I'm sure I'll have a lot of patients who will enjoy
seeing this," she says with a note of sarcasm.
When Erica married Andy
Riehm, he too was recruited for the photo.
He wasn't given an option.
"Don't worry honey it's not that baaaaad," laughs Erica at her husband
who too is clad in a sheep suit.
Over nearly two decades Sue has dressed
up her family as angels, Christmas trees and reindeer.
She clearly has
the love and obedience of her chidren.
What more could she want?
"Maybe our last one will be New Years and we'll be in diapers," she
laughs. "No!" say her family in unison.
Don't count her out.
Wily as a wolf is a mother who can get her children in sheep's
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