It just knows.

It is always so hard to get on and post after a long absence.  Every year I think, “I may just stop”, but there are still stories to tell and until my last one flies out of the nest, I think I will keep writing.

Christmas came and went.   I say it every year: I miss Christmas.


It is a time of coziness and tradition and I look forward to it each year, but especially this one.  My 2 boys came home from college and we were a family of 6 again.

We didn’t do much of anything really.  We saw the new star Wars movie together.


We watched movies, cooked, went out to dinner, made cookies and all the usual stuff.


I threw tons of soft blankets on the couch and had peppermint in the diffuser. Things that Billy would never think of, nor the boys, but I think they enjoyed and appreciated the warmth.

Christmas Eve we had the feast of the 7 Fishes.  We will never skip that one again.  Last year just didn’t seem the same without it.  Even the boys commented likewise.

We made the usual pasta.  When they have families of their own, I hope they will remember how to make it.  I know I did.  My grandmother showed us from a very young age and they are the best memories.


On Facebook one of my very Italian cousins from New York stated “Our Texas cousin, with those funny names (no vowel endings) is the most nearly ITALIAN of us” and that make me so so happy!!!

We had oysters.  That’s a Texas thing, I do believe.


And a feast with 7 types of fish in it.  This year we made a huge pot of cioppino. Shrimp, snow crab, king crab, calamari, Littleneck clams, mussels, scallops in a rich seasoned sauce with anchovies. Wait thats 8.  9 with the oysters.  Ya know what, it never matters the number.  Some families use 11 fish. The point is a meatless night.  OMG it was amazing and will be our go to each Christmas Eve from here on.


Christmas Eve dinner is pretty casual here….no elaborate decorations, plates or grandeur.  Just us…. and lots of good, Italian vibe.


We decorated some sugar and gingerbread cookies after dinner….





….and after we watched “A Christmas Story”, we lit some luminaries along the front path.


This year I brought out some candle clips that were my great grandparents.  My fathers paternal grandparents came from Denmark and brought with them the traditions of a Danish Christmas.  He told me stories of Christmas at the farm and had memories of lighting the tree and dancing around it with his family.  I found some small candles in Fredericksburg a few years ago that would fit in the clips, and this year we had the time to light a small tree and see how beautiful an old fashion Danish tree could be.  The ornaments were my great grandparents as well.


It was so pretty.  I don’t think those candle clips had been used in over 80 years.

In spite of no believers (except me!!!) in the house, Santa came sometime in the night.  Magic, babies!


Breakfast was ebelskivers…plain or with Nutella.  Every last one was eaten.



Somehow, for the last 15 or so years, the Christmas cactus bloomed again on Christmas morning.  Every year, Bill stands there with his coffee looking at it and says “How does it know?”,


More magic, no doubt.

It was a very Merry Christmas this year, and I hope yours was too!

Fa la la la Llama to you and yours!


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2 Responses to It just knows.

  1. Deborah A. says:

    I love when my whole family is home for Christmas. It has gotten less frequent as the kids have married and started their own family’s spread out all over the country.
    Would it be possible to get the name and recipe for the green/white/red cake with what looks like chocolate ganache on top? It looks amazing and I’d love to add it to my Holiday Bake Collection of recipes? I’d’ve sent you a private request for this, but couldn’t find a way to do it on your site. Thanks, Debb

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