Editor’s Notes

Christmas and community, comfort and joy


Photo courtesy of Lori Ann Reinhall
Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall loves Christmas, and it is a joy for her to share it with you.

The Norwegian American

Dear readers and friends,

Since we last touched base, a lot has happened. Many of us have celebrated Thanksgiving in our homes without any guests, and for the first time, we have experienced our first social-distanced Black Friday shopping frenzy—mostly online. It is a holiday season like none other, requiring flexibility and creativity in the way we think, work, and live.

Needless to day, here at The Norwegian American, it has been a year of many challenges and changes. We have weathered through the pandemic with you, constantly shifting our editorial calendar to make it more relevant to the world around us, we went to 100% virtual office, and we looked for new revenue sources with dwindling advertising.

All this has required an enormous effort on the part of our staff, but I am happy to report that our newspaper is in much better shape than it was a year ago. Our subscription base had increased, our financial outlook is sound, and we have been happy to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from you. I want to stress that this has been the result of many people working together. I am constantly amazed by what they are able to do and so grateful to lead such a talented team.

Recently, we were presented with yet a new challenge when we learned that designer John Erik Twedt would be moving on to new adventures. We all have to follow our own destinies, so we had to say goodbye—and then we had to shift into high gear.

A search for a replacement began, while we were putting together our special Christmas issue—not a small undertaking. Our entire team had to be quickly mobilized to make sure we would get this Julehefte to you.

Through our strong contacts in the Nordic community, we were fortunate to pull in an experienced designer, Joan van den Berg, to jump in on the issue. But to work with her busy schedule, it is was necessary to pull in our content early. Writers, editors, the ads team, and even our advertising clients had to step up to the plate—and they all did without exception. Their support was amazing and heartwarming—but that is what our team and our community is all about.

So now the Christmas rush is behind us, and we are proud to present you with our Julehefte, an old-fashioned Christmas issue filled with nostalgia and comfort—just right for the time of COVID-19, when we can find solace and inspiration in our heritage. From lutefisk to nisse, from vintage postcards to Nathan Myhrvold’s sensational snowflakes, we believe we have something to brighten your Christmas holidays.

Despite the whirlwind of activity, I can honestly say that we have enjoyed putting this issue together for you. Christmas is such a special time in Norway, and we were able to experience this joy as we worked on all the articles and features that came to us from our many talented contributors. Their generosity of spirit is present on every page of this issue.

And then, there are all the generous Christmas greetings that you, our readers, have sent to us to share with your family and friends. As always, we are so grateful for your support—your contributions helped make this special Christmas issue even more special.

In the time of the coronavirus, it may sound strange for me to say that this has been a wonderful year—but that is how I feel as I write these words to you. I cannot think of anything that I would rather be doing than working with my wonderful team to bring The Norwegian American to you.

Wishing you a holiday filled with happiness,

Lori Ann Reinhall
Editor-in-chief, The Norwegian American

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 11, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.