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Cream Cheese Cranberry Muffins

The Little Drummer Boy is my favorite Christmas story outside of THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY.  I know The Little Drummer Boy is not a historical truth – as in that boy with his drum was not likely at the stable with the baby Jesus, but . . .  who knows?

What I do know is that the story of the Little Drummer Boy is our story. What happens to that little boy is what happens to all of us when we one day understand what Christmas really is… We are struck suddenly by the truth of who we are and who God is. My favorite lines in the song are these…

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum, I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum, I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum , That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?

If you have never seen the Christmas special of The Little Drummer Boy, watch it this year, we do every Christmas and I always cry. I cry because I know how that little boy feels  – all we have to give is what God has given us, our very lives, It is God’s Son that started out as that babe in a manger that moves us to give our lives,  to humbly give what we have – to play our drum, however meekly – and maybe especially meekly –  before the King.

Giving ourselves to others in need at Christmas and any time, does more than we ever know. I will never forget when some friends from church brought us breakfast on the Christmas morning two weeks after my mother had passed away. These muffins make a wonderful Christmas morning gift, that anyone will appreciate.

1 cup butter, softened

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

-In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans.

-Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  Serve warm. Makes 2 dozen.

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