Nisse is sleeping, but soon he’ll wake up—for Christmas is coming…

Nisse sover

Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
One of Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall’s favorite places to visit in Bergen is Julehuset, where she can find her good friend Nisse.

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

The holiday season is once again upon us, and for Norwegian Americans, it’s a very special time of the year, with a wealth of traditions handed down generation to generation. It is a time of warmth and light, family and friends, parties and colorful decorations, good food, and—of course—gifts.

When I was child, I couldn’t wait for Christmas Eve and all the presents that would appear under the tree. In many ways, we didn’t have as much back in those days when it came to material things—or at least we were expected to wait much longer for them, with gifts arriving only at Christmastime and on our birthdays. I can remember how incredibly happy to get a new doll, stuffed toy, dress, storybook, or board game. Sometimes the anticipation was almost overwhelming. For children, and adults alike, we were filled with the joy of Christmas—the joy of feeling loved.

Early on, I also learned that Christmas was not only about receiving: it was also about giving. It was the time of year to show our family and friends what they meant to us. We spent hours baking cookies and addressing Christmas cards, and we go from shop to shop to find the perfect gifts for the special people in our lives. I soon learned that, in many ways, giving was just as fun as getting—and this feeling stayed with me over the years.

Today, many of us seem to have everything we want, yet the reasons for giving gifts remain much the same. We want to show the ones we love how much they mean to us, how much we respect and appreciate them. And these days, with the huge abundance of goods available, this can actually require a good deal of thought. 

Here at The Norwegian American, we hope that we can bring something special to you during the holiday season, beginning with our Gift Guide issue.  And throughout the entire year, we will work to bring you stories and features to deepen your experience of your cultural heritage, both past and present.  

Our paper is published through the dedication and generosity of our staff, freelancers, and subscribers. There are so many people giving of themselves to keep our publication going, and for that, we are very grateful. Many of our contributors are not paid anything at all, and others work at fraction of what they could be paid on the open market. We all do it because we believe in what we are doing—and we believe in you. For us, it is a labor of love to come together as a creative team to enrich your lives.

We hope that this holiday season you might think about gifting a subscription to someone who would like to go on this wonderful journey with us. In the coming year, we will have even more to offer, with plans for an enhanced digital experience, more special features, and expanded coverage.  But we cannot do all of this without you.

At The Norwegian American, any donation, big or small, will help. It may not be possible to send money, but you can help spread the word to potential subscribers. You can also contribute by sending us story ideas and leads, or you can send us your feedback on how we are doing. Invite us to come speak at your events, and we will do everything we can to make it. Some people even donate frequent flyer miles and housing to enable us to be there for you.

Two years ago, I thought I would be retiring from my professional working days, but life works in interesting ways, offering new and unexpected opportunities. I joined the newspaper here and have not looked back since. For me, it is a great gift to serve as the editor-in-chief at The Norwegian American. I want to thank you for support and wish you a joyous holiday season.

Experience the joy of giving!

Learn about the different ways you can give to The Norwegian American this holiday season by visiting

Tusen takk!

This article originally appeared in the November 15, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

Avatar photo

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.