Cousin Brenda holding Brenda Nicole (my daughter) while Cousin Heide looks on. A very melancholy but good day. My dearest mother died 7 weeks earlier. Spending the holidays with Aunt Dottie and Uncle Carl, Bruce, Heide and Brenda, was sweet balm to the soul for my Dad Russell and I.
This photo was a long time ago. Brenda Nicole has now changed her name to Nicole and she is married with 2 children. The great thing is that I spent 2010 Christmas Day with Cousin Bruce (not pictured) with his wife, Ann, and three grown children. There were 16 of us around tables put together. It was definitely a "hyggelig" time. When I finally got up from the table I realized we had been eating, drinking and playing a game together for 4 hours! There was none of this American stuff called "spend hours cooking, eat it in 20 minutes and then turn on the football game and do not talk to one another!" Cousin Bruce was the chef and fixed a fabulous feast for Christmas Day. My late Uncle Carl's wife, Aunt Dorothy, is Armenian and there must be an Armenian word for "hyggelig", because she also does "intimate family-friends time" so well. A lot of Danish -Americans in our family do it without thinking about it. They just learned it by osmosis and no one ever said to them: "This is a Danish tradition".
May you all cultivate "hyggelig times" in 2011 in your family. (And turn off the tv when family is gathered together. ) Earlier in the evening, this picture from 1966, Bruce, Heide and Brenda were dressed in their holiday clothes. This picture was taken much later in the evening, when they had changed into pajamas or casual wear.
I shared this pic with Aunt Dottie recently and she said: "Oh, I loved those curtains, I wish I still had them." So cute.