Eleven Pipers Piping

Welcome  Yesterday I gave a little background on the holiday carol The Twelve Days of Christmas.  I will briefly talk a bit more about this carol, share some scripture, and a great holiday recipe.  My recipe theme this week is #EasyHolidayHome.  If you’re looking for an easy holiday cookie to decorate, this recipe will not disappoint!  Thanks for visiting.  Note–I may receive a small compensation for affiliate links found on this blog post.  For further information, please see my Terms and Disclosure page.

Food For Thought  When I was looking for some history and meaning for this popular carol, I also found lots of clipart and images.  Interestingly, “eleven pipers piping” had a variety of images.  I found the above image showing flutists, but I also saw several showing bagpipers, some playing what appears to be clarinets, and still others had a group playing a variety of wind and brass instruments.  This just kind of goes along with the whole idea that we don’t know the original intention for these lyrics or how the meaning has evolved so much since first written.  Now we’re just making guesses to what the writer intended.

If you go along with the theory that each of the twelve gifts are representative to a concept of Christianity, the eleven pipers piping symbolizes the eleven faithful disciples of the New Testament.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I’m not convinced one way or another on the meaning for the song’s lyrics, but I do think it’s fun to share this bit of trivia.  As a kid, I just thought these words were an example of a “true love” being romantic by sending musicians to play tunes for his beloved, like being serenaded or having a string quartet show up and play romantic music.  Awww, ain’t that sweet!

But as for celebrating the birth of Christ this holiday season, I think we can learn a little something from the eleven pipers piping.  When I think of this scene, I envision a lot of noise, anything but quiet.  I think it’s a good reminder for us to NOT BE QUIET ABOUT JESUS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.  Whoa, all caps, I must feel pretty strong about that!  I will not succumb to the “happy holidays” political correctness.  I will say loud and proud, Merry Christmas!  I will display my nativity scene for all to see.  I will put baby Jesus on my Christmas tree.  I will put angels around my house.  I will not shorten Christmas with an X as though writing “Christ” is too inconvenient, or worse, offensive.  I will send holiday cards with Bible scriptures.  I will sing carols that tell of the birth of Christ.  I will make every effort to ensure my daughter understands the real reason we celebrate Christmas, even if December 25 is a mere guess as to a birthdate on the calendar.  So today, as I have shared about eleven pipers piping, I encourage you to not be quiet about your beliefs and reasons for celebrating this Christmas.

Today’s Scripture  God does not intend for us to be quiet in spreading His good news.  Here are some verses to contemplate on the subject:

Mark 16:15  “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

Acts 10:42-43  “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Romans 1:16  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”

2 Timothy 2:25  “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”

Today’s Prayer  My dear Heavenly Father, I ask You this day to make Your children bold for Your word and Your truths.  May we, as Christians, use this holiday time as a chance to spread the gospel and good news of Your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  May we keep this as our most elevated thought and priority throughout this Christmas season.  I pray this in Your Son Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

Today’s Recipe  The “pipers piping” in the song refers to players of musical instruments, most likely being of a woodwind nature.  Are you familiar with the term “piping” in reference to decorating cakes and cookies?  I long to be a talented “piper” in this instance, but, honestly, I’m not so much.  But that doesn’t mean I shy away from the decorated Christmas cookie tradition!  If you like deliciously soft sugar cookies (think Lofthouse-style), then this is the perfect sugar cookie recipe for you!  I don’t like crunchy or crisp cookies, so this is my go-to cookie recipe when I want to pull out the cookie cutters.  The cookies are scratch-made, but I used store-bought frosting.  And they’re ideal for letting little hands help in the kitchen, perfect for making those special family memories and traditions.  My ten-year-old helped make these!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs
Get the kids in the kitchen! Don’t be shy about giving the kids some frosting and sprinkles. Messes clean up, but happy holiday memories last forever!


Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs (makes 3 dozen)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 containers vanilla frosting
  • gel food color
  • decorator gel in black and green
  • sprinkles and candies, as desired

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until well combined.  Add egg, sour cream, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed.  In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Place dough on wax paper and wrap tightly; refrigerate for at least one hour.  When dough is chilled, turn oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle flour on smooth surface and place dough on surface.  Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll dough to about 1/4 inch.  Using cookie cutters of choice (I used all Christmas trees this year) cut cookies and remove to ungreased cookie sheets.  Each time you remove all cookies, ball up remaining dough and reroll to 1/4 inch thickness, adding flour if dough begins to get too sticky.  Continue to cut cookies until all dough has been used.  Bake cookies at 350 for 9-12 minutes, depending on your oven and pan type.  Do NOT overbake…cookies will continue to harden after removing from oven and cookies will remain pale in color.  Remove cookies from oven.  Let set for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire cooling racks.  Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.

To EASILY decorate, I dumped two containers of store bought vanilla icing into a bowl and tinted with about 15 drops of green food color gel.  After mixing well, my daughter and I frosted the cookies.  She spread her frosting with a butter knife while I used a squeeze tube with a small round tip to outline a triangle and add squiggle designs for the tree.

easy cookie decorating
A decorator tip with a small round hole allows you to trace a triangle shape and then squiggle back and forth to fill in the tree. This is a FAST way to decorate a lot of cookies.
One of my daughters decorated tree cookies.

If you want to decorate your tree with “Christmas lights,” use a decorator gel tube (in black or green) and outline where you want your string of lights to be on your tree.  Then using medium-size sprinkles add the “lights” to your string.  Or just let the kids decorate them how they want…having fun is the important part of this recipe!

Recommended Products for Today’s Post  I LOVE my air-bake cookie sheets!  It extends the baking time a little longer, but I never have to worry about burnt or even too-hard bottoms to my cookies.  I also recommend having several cooling racks for your cookies. (Links verified 12/7/17 at 2:00 p.m., CST) 

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