Pop Pop loved everything about Christmas: Mom Mom’s elaborate decorations, my mother Margie’s pot roast, and my own bûche de noël or “Christmas Yule Log” I’d make especially for him. Christmas this year was my family’s first without our sweet Pop Pop, resting in his favorite chair, his face filled with light when I presented my cake. He would have loved this year’s version—its white birch frosting, sugared rosemary and meringue mushrooms dusted with cocoa powder. “How’d you do that?” he’d ask, year after year. “Oh, you know,” I’d say. “Mom Mom taught me.” The two of them together have shaped my life and brightened its days in more ways than they’ll ever know. And even though my dear, sweet Pop Pop is no longer with us, something tells me he’s smiling, grateful as ever for the Christmas cake I made this year, the one I’ll make every year, just for him.






The vintage pink napkins with a Greek Key appliqué were a gift from reader Ann Chamberlain, while the fabric is from Quadrille. The dessert forks are the Princess Louise pattern from the 1880s, the plates Rosenthal from the 50s, and the platter Gorham from the 20s.