What is love? As the Beatles song tells us “Love is All There is….” This month we are all about love, hearts, and kindness. We’ve chosen a perfect couple to celebrate Valentine’s Day with – the delightful, Jay & Kristina Davidson. In love as much as ever, this beautiful, devoted couple are known as one of the most giving pair in our community. The organizations they have founded, contributed to - or chaired - are endless; for the sake of space, we can only name a few: Arapahoe House, First American State Bank Fitness Festival, DCPA, VOA’s Western Fantasy, Beacon Center, American Heart Association, Children’s Diabetes, Fine Arts Foundation – and on and on. Jay and Kristina, one of Colorado’s most enduring soul mates, are filled with love for each other, their family, friends and the community they cherish. After listening to others talk about the Davidson’s and about their outstanding philanthropic work, there is no question they are loved and adored right back. So as John Lennon sang: “Imagine.” If all people opened their hearts and gave back - like the Davidson’s, we might be “living life in peace.”
How long have the two of you been married? 29 years. We got married in Stockholm, Sweden on a snowy December day.
When you first met, what is the first thing you noticed about each other? Jay: I was overwhelmed, stricken, it was amazing. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, just that I really wanted to be with this beautiful woman.
Kristina: He was in my opinion so handsome, clean cut and professional looking. It was crystal clear that we wanted to spend time together.
Tell us about your first date? We want to tell you about how we met. Jay stood on the stairs at the disco “Lady and the Dove”, and he saw this blonde woman and decided to go up and talk to her. She had an accent, and he became very interested. He took her over to introduce her to his colleagues and they paid too much attention to her. He felt jealous and asked her to leave the place with him. Debonair as he is, he took Kristina to a Dairy Queen for ice cream.
We both had previous engagements for the following evening, and we both hated that. The next evening Kristina invited Jay to a Dionne Warwick concert, and we have not been separated since.
As a couple, what's your first priority? Our family, our children, our business, our country and our belief in a higher being.
What quality do you admire in each other? Jay: Understanding, caring, honesty, spiritual, beauty and making things around her beautiful.
Kristina: I admire Jay’s integrity, sincerity, honesty and the respect he shows me. I also admire Jay’s devotion to his family.
What do you have most in common? Strongly held beliefs and the discipline to live according to those beliefs.
They say sometimes opposites attract; what is the most different thing about the two of you? Kristina: I am more of an extravert. Jay is a more introvert. Jay: She is a lot nicer than I am.
Where do both of you like to go for a romantic dinner anywhere here in Colorado? Vail or Broadmoor. There are many nice restaurant in Denver. We enjoy Cool River Cafe, Il Fornaio, McCormick's, Morton’s, San Lorenzo and The Wellshire Inn.
What is your favorite vacation spot? We do not really have a favorite spot, we like to visit different locations when we travel. We are taking our “children” to Italy this year for Michelle’s college graduation. We do love Kristina’s hometown Stockholm in the summer.
What do you plan on doing for Valentine's Day this year? We are going to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, and we are going for a late Valentine's trip to Palm Springs.
What sport do you both like to participate in together? Summer hikes in the mountains. (Kristina likes to work out at the Greenwood Athletic Club, walks and tries to get an occasional skiing day in.)
You are known as one of the most charitable couples in town; what non-profits are you involved with now? First American State Bank Fitness Festival, which we founded in 2001, Friends of Arapahoe House which Kristina co-founded, Denver Center Alliance, VOA, King Foundation, Step 13, Colorado Housing Finance Authority.
What is a charitable event(s) you look forward to attending each year? We go to numerous events every year; some of our favorites are: Our own First American State Bank Fitness Festival (a 5K run/walk) benefitting, The Community Asset Project; Saturday Night Alive, Pillars of the Community, the Heart Ball, Western Fantasy, Holiday Mart.
What is the biggest challenge each of you have ever had? Raising our children when they were growing up: balancing their independence with our concern for them.
In your opinion, what does it take to get to that special place known as "wedded bliss"? Same basic values. Understanding, respect, support, caring; bottom line is realizing we want to spend our lives together, no matter what.
Tell us about a great Davidson family tradition? One of our traditions is Christmas Eve celebration the Swedish way. The house is decorated with a lot of Swedish Christmas keepsakes. Kristina prepares a Swedish “Smorgasbord” Buffet with herring, steamed potatoes, Swedish meatballs, Jansson’s temptation potatoes, whole ham, pickled cucumbers, red cabbage, cheeses, red beet and apple salad, etc. Our daughter Michelle and Kristina bake home baked cookies and a special almond-filled cake. The table conversation is long and relaxed. After dinner we drink some “glogg” a hot Swedish Christmas punch with fresh almonds in it and open our gifts in front of our beautiful Christmas tree.
What are you most looking forward to in the future? Watching our kids grow. Continue to build a legacy through growing our bank - First American State Bank.
How do both of you want to be remembered by future generations? We want to be remembered by our future generations with a warm glow of secure knowledge that we (Jay and Kristina) tried our best to give our unconditional love, be fair and to secure their future.