The Sleepy Eye Historical Society Board of Directors hosted an early evening open house on the Depot Museum’s opening day — May 1.

The Depot Museum sits quietly in the cold of winter, and opens each spring on the first Wednesday in May. Last year, and this year, the Sleepy Eye Historical Society Board of Directors hosted an early evening open house on the museum’s opening day — May 1, this year. A highlight of the open house is the reveal of the year’s Sleepy Eye Christmas Ornament.

The reveal of the 2019 ornament had an aire of mystery to it. A twist on the normal, you might say. Not one design, but two designs, were revealed. It hadn’t been the plan, but things don’t always go according to plan.

The SEAHS board had selected a design featuring downtown Sleepy Eye festooned with Christmas lights, perhaps around the 1920s. The idea was to complement the current efforts to dress up Sleepy Eye’s downtown.

When the ornaments arrived, the initial delight in seeing the design on the ornament, turned to puzzlement. Was it kind of blurry on some of the bulbs? What could have happened to the design approved for production?

A call to the company that produces the ornaments provided an answer. It turned out that when the ornaments were imprinted with the design, it wasn’t as great as had been expected. So the company ran them through the print process again and it didn’t all line up perfectly. The ornaments were shipped to Sleepy Eye anyway.

Wanting to keep a good customer happy, the company agreed to provide another order of ornaments with a new design. Another downtown street scene was selected and the second set of 2019 Sleepy Eye Christmas Ornaments should arrive a week from Friday.

Both the not-so-perfect ornaments, and the new perfect design ornaments will be available this year. As collectors gaze at their ornaments in distant future years, they’ll ask themselves, “Why were there two ornaments in 2019?” It will be special.

Sleepy Eye Ornaments are available at local retailers, as well as the Depot Museum. Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.