Christmas Traditions


Some things are a Christmas tradition that have no basis in anything Christmassy whatsoever. For us that would be some of our cut out cookies. We have the traditional bells, trees, stars and snowmen but we also throw in buffalo, doves, pigs (we are in Iowa!), geese and jackrabbits. I am not sure how the animals became part of our tradition but they have been included for a long time.

Christmas is the only holiday that I really take the time to make cut out cookies. They are so time consuming to make as you have to mix the dough, chill the dough, roll out the dough, cut out shapes, roll again, cut some more, roll some more, cut again…repeat…repeat…repeat. It is a process that goes on and on till there is only a tiny little blob of dough left. I am grateful that my husband helps with this process!

While all this cutting and rolling is going on you are also baking cookie sheet after cookie sheet of cookies. I usually try to set the timer for each batch as I always tend to burn some of them. The ones I burn; are typically those on the last couple of cookie sheets. I am not sure if it is because I am too busy with the other cookies or just plain sick of cookies!

After all the baking they still need to be frosted. I will never win a cookie contest for looks with these cookies but they do taste good. Fortunately for me, my husband is more concerned about taste, texture and flavor than he is with presentation when it comes to food of any type.

The recipe I use is one I have used for years. It came from a co-worker from years ago and is always a favorite. The amount of dough may look meager but it really does go a long way.

Cut Out Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 cup butter (real)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon almond flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cut butter into dry ingredients (like you do with making pie crust)
Add eggs, cream, and flavorings

Chill a few hours
Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness
Cut with cookies cutters
Bake at 350º till edges are just brown
Frost with a powdered sugar frosting….I don’t actually have a recipe I follow for this.
I just put a couple cups of powdered sugar in a bowl,
add 1 tablespoon melted butter,
add 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
then add milk a little at a time till you get a spreading consistency.

The only downfall to these cookies is that they do not last! I kind of think I tend to only make them for the holiday because then there are more people around to help eat them. If only my husband and I had to eat them we would probably end up in a sugar coma.

I am glad that my family looks beyond the looks of these cookies. The cookies are a good reminder that it is always good to look beyond what you can see. So many times, in so many circumstances there is so much more than what is visible.

The old saying about not judging a book by it’s cover is still so true today. To paraphrase it…don’t judge a cookie by it’s frosting! And definitely don’t judge people just by what you see.

Let’s take this weekend to really see, hear, and understand people and their circumstances. Let’s give a little grace to those we find hard to understand and let’s show some love to those who frustrate us. Let’s take the time to really taste those cookies instead of just looking at them.

Blessings to you all this weekend!

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.
By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil
and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” 

― Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship



“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
–   William James  



23 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions

  1. kindergartenknowledge says:

    Faye…I have really missed reading your wonderful writing! I am trying to get caught up…first with the writing and then with the reading! With the baby being almost two weeks overdue…I had a difficult time concentrating on my blog! I guess that fact is sort of obvious!

    Your sugar cookie recipe is different from mine…and sounds better! I have never put cream in m cookies! Yours are very pretty and bright! I will try to compete, but I do believe you have me beat on this one!

    Your comments at the end of your post are so very timely. There is so much instant judgement against people these days. I am weary of the quick judgements (has it been proven?) as well as the poor behavior (so often, very proven). There is wrong on each side. However, I am thinking of the individuals who have taken part in actions that take advantage of women. At the same time, they are deeply hurting wives and children. When did “sinful” become a word that does not matter?

    Goodness…I became very serious! This post covers a sugar cookie recipe and sinful behavior. Leave it to me to skip from subject to subject!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      LOL Pat! My blog posts usually skip around ….no wonder we get along.
      Getting a new grandchild definitely puts a lot of life on hold for a time…enjoy that time with that new baby around! It is such a very precious time.
      I just loved the Bonhoeffer quote at the end where he reminds us that we need to extend grace because we also need it extended to us. I know that was a great reminder for me!
      I have been struggling to get blog posts out this past while! It seems like there is just so much going on this time of year….all really good stuff but just very busy.
      You have an amazing time this season with your family….it will be such a blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I just had the best visual of you licking that monitor screen Al. LOL. I am kind of frostinged out…it doesn’t really even look so good right now after doing that many cookies. Pretty sure that feeling won’t last long!


  2. bcparkison says:

    Oh the memories that your cookies bring. Haven’t done sugar cookies in along time.My husband didn’t favor them so we switched to gingerbread men. Mostly I just stick to Swedish tea rings. Got the recipe in high school home -ed class and been making them every year since. Long time. lol They make good gifts for the neighbors Christmas breakfast . Mine too of course. Are you ready…Time is closing in on us. One week to go.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Swedish tea rings are so pretty! I have never made one of those in my life…..nor a gingerbread man.
      This is the only time of year I seem to make cut out cookies. I have cookie cutters for other seasons but just never seem to haul them out and use them. Maybe this is the year to change that??
      I am almost ready for Christmas….a few more things to finish up, meal planning and last minute gift wrapping and good to go. And yes…..time to reflect why we really celebrate Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruthie's Crafting Corner says:

    Faye! I love your cookies! I must confess…I haven’t made cut out sugar cookies for such a very long time! Your recipe called for cream which mine never did, I bet they are very delicious! I usually shook my sugar cookies in a baggy of cinnamon sugar which smelled heavenly with hot cookies 🙂 Truth as always about the judging XX

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Ruthie, this recipe turns out sugary chewy if you don’t bake them too long. If, like me, you burn a couple cookie sheets of them they taste like crispy, buttery sugar cookies with frosting…still tasty! I bet your cookies tasted wonderful coated with cinnamon sugar! You would definitely want to eat them hot!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. says:

    wow! you are a cookie baker-They are just beautiful and I know they taste good-Poor Lyla! I must learn this art-Ha! sweet post-and you are right-we should train ourselves to find what is right about a person-and not to judge harshly or quickly. No good comes from that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      When the kids were little I would mix up a double batch of this because they tended to sneak cookie dough as we cut, rolled and baked. The cookie dough is pretty good too! I must admit I still like to pop a bit in my mouth as I make these. I know food people would not recommend it but I feel fairly safe with eggs from my own girls…..and it is so very good lol.
      It is really fun to make cut outs with kids around….they like to put their own twist on what gets cut out and even altering it. They also get really creative with frosting! You will have to give it a go with Lyla. I have a feeling it would be fun for both of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    Wow! All you need now is a visit from Santa’s little helpers – aka The Gran-kids 😀

    They look wonderful, and I’d have to take one of each, eating one straight away, and putting the rest in one of those zipped plastic bags, so that I could have one a day for days to come! (But I’d have to hide them so that Mr.Cobs and Little Cobs didn’t get to them first!).

    LOVE this quote at the end of your post: “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
    – William James

    Abso-bloomin-lutely! Perfect quote for anytime.
    Merry Christmas Chicken.
    Sending you and yours love and squidges
    ~ Cobs. xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. samanthamurdochblog says:

    A wonderful post! Loving those cookies…as always, I love your quotes too, appropriate and comforting too.

    Have a wonderful festive season, lots of love to you and your family 😺💕xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. susieshy45 says:

    Have copied the recipe on a word document and printed it out. Am going to try this today. I have never baked in my life so this will be a first. Should the cookies be crunchy or chewy?
    I will leave the icing to my daughter as she is expert at this.
    As to the judging, you are right. My husband always tells me I am the first to judge people. But I am also the first to stand up for the underdog. I guess you are talking about our politicians about whom we are so quick to judge based on what the media reports but none of us knows these people and have never ever seen or experienced anything of what is said on the media, so we don’t know for sure. You are right about the judging part. I guess we should not judge people we don’t know or whose circumstances we are unfamiliar with.

    Liked by 1 person

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