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Museum resumes holiday tradition

By Haley Seward

Family traditions tend to run strong throughout small communities, and the Runestone Museum in Alexandria is doing its part by resurrecting a collector’s item that has become just that for countless families within the area.

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After a five year hiatus, the Runestone Museum is excited to announce the return of its disc Christmas ornaments.

When it lost its vendor, the museum was forced to stop production of the beloved ornaments until they could find a suitable replacement.

The original series consisted of eight historic landmarks located at or near the museum, including Big Ole, The Runestone, Snorri ship, 45th Anniversary emblem, log washhouse, schoolhouse, Senator Knute Nelson’s carriage and the Native American teepee.

The new ornament will be a returning favorite, as it features Big Ole. This specific landmark was chosen because it is an iconic monument that is unique to Alexandria.

“Everyone loves Big Ole; visitors take pictures of their kids with him every time they come to town,” said LuWanna Hintermeister, a buyer for the museum gift shop.

Tourists and residents alike can’t seem to get enough of Big Ole. 

The ornaments will be well worth the wait. The new vendor hand draws the design for the ornaments. They will be porcelain and double sided, showcasing a picture of Big Ole on the front and giving a historical background on the reverse.

The ornaments are now available at the Runestone Museum gift shop in Alexandria.

The items are expected to sell out fast. The museum ordered 200 ornaments and will sell them for $12 apiece. They will also be available in a gift box sold for $13, and a coordinating stocking mug will be priced at $7.

As a Christmas special, they will also offer a set of one ornament and one mug for $18. All of the funds will go toward the general operating costs of the museum.

The museum is already looking ahead to next year. It is eager to receive feedback from customers, as well as suggestions as to what landmark to put on the next ornament.

“Sometimes people have ideas that we don’t have. We’d love to hear them,” said Hintermeister. She can be reached at (320)763-3160.With the return of these irreplaceable Christmas ornaments, the families in the Alexandria area are free to resume their tradition.