say hello to our Christmas dinner!


There it is… half a lamb! When I walked into the local butcher this afternoon, I had only intended to pick up our favorite sausage for an egg and sausage casserole. The lamb looked too unforgettable to pass up, though… so why not?! There’s enough for two meals, so I’ll choose half of the pieces and roast them with root vegetables. Should be tasty, and I know my back-to-the-land husband will love it. Here’s a picture of the butcher hacking the lamb up for me:


He chopped the head and ear off first and laid them on the butcher paper, but I shook my head. I had no plans for those pieces, and I’d rather not look at them in my kitchen. Don’t tell Elliott; he probably would have wanted to make a lamb’s head soup or fry the brains! The butcher did give me the whole liver, so maybe Elliott will be content with that….

What are your plans for Christmas this year? Are they interwoven with family tradition, or are you far from family this year? We’re still establishing our traditions, by which I mean that we have plans for how Christmas will be one day (real tree, Christmas stockings, spending the holidays with family) and our make-do plans in the meantime. Here’s our make-do tree and its tin foil star:


My children are posing outside the butcher shop with the omnipresent Sicilian Christmas decoration: a stuffed Santa climbing walls or railings to deliver presents. A version of this Santa seems to be hanging off every balcony in town.

We’re hosting a small Christmas Eve brunch tomorrow morning for other friends who are far from family, just like we did last year. We also have high hopes of attending the Christmas cantata at church if our little ones can make it through the 6:30-7:30pm service without meltdowns!

Our Christmas morning will be more special this year because I feel like Lena anticipates it and is excited about it for the first time. We’ve been telling and retelling the Christmas story a lot in this house, and Elliott’s been reading the story from The Jesus Storybook Bible to her about every other night for weeks. I have thought about making a birthday cake for Jesus to really emphasize the celebration of the day, but we’ve had enough sweets in this house… so maybe I’ll just stick a candle in one of our Christmas morning cinnamon rolls instead! She would love that.

I’d love to hear about your plans for Christmas, especially if you have any special ways to commemorate the day with little ones. What are your favorite memories from your childhood?

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11 Responses to say hello to our Christmas dinner!

  1. Sarah December 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Lamb – delicious! I’d love to visit your favorite butcher sometime :). I think you’ll stumble upon a few traditions here and there as we have…I keep thinking things will “stick”. The only one that keeps lingering is our gift tradition for the kids – something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. Can’t wait to hear about your holiday festivities! Blessings – Sarah

    • Becca December 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Yes, I’ve been hearing a lot about that tradition of four gifts! Right now that seems like a lot of presents for each kid when they are getting so many from family; we are just giving them Christmas ornaments this year. But that might be because their birthdays are coming soon (Jan 25 and April 3) and so it feels like a lot of gifts all at once, too! We’ll see what gift-giving traditions develop over time.

  2. Effie December 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    My husband will be so jealous to see your lamb! You are quite the adventurous cook, Becca! Merry Christmas, friend! I have enjoyed your blog so much this year!

    • Becca December 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Thank you, Effie! Sicily has made me much more adventurous, I think… and examples from good cooks around me. Merry Christmas!

  3. Poppy December 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Superbo! What a treat and a memory for the kiddies (Momma, did we really eat that?) Love those darling boots…made for walking. She’s stylin’. Lovely to think of you all making Sicilian Christmas memories. I know your dinner will be scrumpdillyicious.

    • Becca December 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Those pink boots have been a BIG hit in this house. I forgot how much I loved rainboots when I was little! Love to you all. Wish we were with you!

  4. Dianna December 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm #


    I’m new to your blog but instantly loved it. Growing up the holidays were filled with family fun and lots of laughter. These days everyone is so busy. It’s just not the same. I’ve been searching for new traditions for my family as well.

    • Becca December 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Thanks so much for your encouragement, Dianna!

  5. Liz Galvano Harshbarger December 24, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Thanks for such a wonderful blog. Enjoy the lamb, we’re having lasagna. Glad to make your acquaintance.

    Grace and peace to you during this holy season.

    • Becca December 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Thank you for your message, Liz! My Italian friend made the most incredible lasagna the other day, and I made sure to get the recipe. I might share it sometime soon on the blog! Grace and peace to you as well.


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