Looking back over this past year, it is easy to say that 2016 was rough on all of us. I don’t think I need to elaborate, as I’m sure we can all think of a few reasons why. It may seem like this past year was quite unbelievable in many ways, and we may be all too ready to usher in the New Year.  However, there actually were some really great things about 2016, and celebrating the ‘best of’ seems like the most heartwarming thing to do. So here goes…


The Best Quote for 2016:


“He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him”.

–Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling, 1843


Our Danish-American roots stretch far and wide: The H.C. Andersen memorial in Central Park, NY. A gift, in part, by Danish and American schoolchildren and funded mainly by the Danish-American Women’s Association, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Andersen’s birth. (source)



Best of Our Community: 

The Danish Home of Chicago has a rich history as a boutique retirement community, offering a secure, caring environment for its residents. In 2016, they continued to celebrate long-running traditions and a proud Scandinavian-American heritage, while also welcoming new ones with open arms. Here are some of the Best of The Danish Home:



Each December you can find them dancing around the tree on Lillejuleaften!



In April, the Women’s Auxiliary of The Danish Home of Chicago hosted their 58th Annual Benefit Spring Luncheon.  Coincidentally, it was also the 76th birthday of Danish Queen Margrethe II, and the beautiful eftermiddag (afternoon) was dedicated in her honor!


Women’s Auxiliary founder



Over the spring and summer months, residents took part in many events in and around Chicago. In May, they participated in the Norwegian Parade along with friends, The Danish Sisterhood of America.  Over the summer, they visited an authentic Viking Ship in Downtown Chicago and reveled in the majesty of their Scandinavian heritage. There were trips to The Lincoln Park Zoo, The Museum of Science and Industry, as well as many other Danish Home events!



This Viking ship sailed at the Norwegian Parade!



Visiting the Viking Ship




The Danish Home held their Annual Benefit in September, where The Danish Home Foundation proudly honored The Dagmar Sisterhood Lodge No. 4, The Dania Society and The Danish American Athletic Club (DAAC) with its 2016 Essence Award. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon these three worthy organizations for their tireless efforts in preserving Scandinavian heritage and culture, extensively volunteering to assist residents and supporting Danish Home programs, and organizing many amazing events for the Danish Home.  Once such event is the Annual Fall Fest & Frikadeller Festival, which is always a welcomed fête to usher in the autumn.



The Danish Sisterhood celebrate their Essence Award honor


The Danish Home is so grateful for their supporters and the amazing individuals, families and organizations who continue to do so much for the Danish community!


Best of The Blog:

The Hope Chest Blog is a place linking the past and present, where culture and heritage are celebrated, and hope and resilience are common themes. Here are a few Best of Blogs from The Hope Chest:


At the beginning of 2016, Mormor reconnected with family from Denmark. Then, just recently, The Danish Home was contacted by a long-lost relative of founder Emma Thorsen!  2016 was definitely a year for reconnecting!  We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store…



Fearless leader: Danish Home founder Emma Thorsen


At a time when our country needed it most, we discussed why it is so important to care for one another and the many reasons we have to be grateful.  We celebrated new roles, embarked on fairytale adventures, and encouraged you to catch the spirit!



Click & help celebrate this amazing milestone!



Best of 2016:

There really was so much to celebrate this year. Here are some more ‘best of’, as curated from around the web:


Best Feel-Good Stories


Amazing Space Discoveries of 2016


Best Apps


Best Inventions (from Time)


Best Pictures (from National Geographic)


Best Saturday Night Live Sketches (for a much-needed laugh)


Best Films


Best Books (from Goodreads.com)


 When you look back, it truly was a fantastic year!




The Hope Chest will be back again in the New Year, so tune in!  As always, wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday and loads of good cheer in 2017!

Glædelig jul og Godt Nytår!! (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!)