Mr. Gonopolis And His 12 Holsteins – A Christmas Story, was written and illustrated by Chuck Smith-Dewey in 1986 for his nephews and nieces. It started as a simple, handmade Christmas gift but proved popular enough to be published. There have been three commercial editions published, including a 25th Anniversary Edition in 2005.
Chuck wrote and illustrated it under the pseudonym “Uncle Hyggly” – a variation of the Scandinavian term “hygge” which means “happy.”
The book, a story about rural values such as hard work, perseverance and helping neighbors, has been adapted into a Christmas pageant by elementary schools from Hibbing, Minnesota’s St. Leo’s to a school for exceptional children in Annapolis, Maryland.
Several audio versions have been made over the years, most often with Chuck’s “moosical” collaborator George Maurer.