The kitchen truly becomes the heart of the home during the Christmas season. Between the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it may be difficult to focus on the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of Jesus—and create meaningful and faith-based family traditions that can be passed down from generation to generation. One of the traditions that we practiced as a family when my children were young was making Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses at their grandparents’ house. The process of baking and cooking together with your kids or grandkids gives families an opportunity to slow down and enjoy each other.

Christmas baking is a timeless joy and creates a lifetime of memories and family recipes. As time moves on, holiday traditions may change, but the special memories of time in the kitchen with family at Christmas will be something that everyone will always treasure. Below is a small collection of faith-based cookbooks with recipes, ideas and activities that will help you create this special family tradition. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bake through the Bible at Christmas
By Susie Bentley-Taylor, Bekah Moore

This book helps parents to explore the Christmas story with their child while having fun cooking together. It contains 12 Bible stories, told in a simple, engaging style, that take a child through the events of the first Christmas. Each story is supported by a cooking activity that reinforces the main teaching, along with questions to discuss while cooking and a simple recap to use while enjoying what you’ve made. With clear, illustrated recipes, you don’t have to be a good cook to enjoy this book—just ready to have some fun as you bake through the Bible at Christmas!

Christmas Delights: A Faith-Filled, Family Favorite Holiday Cookbook
Compiled by Barbour Staff

Delight your family with the festive flavors of Christmas with this faith-based book. Browse through more than 250 recipes illustrated with full-color photographs and create the perfect delicacies for every Advent occasion, including bountiful breakfasts and brunches, hearty holiday dinners, popular party foods, cookies and candy, edible gifts your friends and neighbors will love and more.

12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters’ Stuff: 144 Ideas for Traditions, Homemade Gifts, Recipes, and More
By Six Sisters’ Stuff

In this book, the Six Sisters share their stories and expertise for making a memorable holiday season with practical tips, delicious recipes and great ideas as they share with them and their families the traditions and joys of Christmas. This beautiful book includes fun recipes, projects and ideas along with full-color photographs and easy-to-follow instructions that will make the holidays a success.

It’s a Wonderful Life Cookbook
By Karolyn Grimes ‘Zuzu’ and Franklin Donanyos

Celebrating one of the most beloved American Christmas films of all time, Director Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, this book is full of movie folklore and recipes meant to delight and entertain everyone and is presented by the actress who played star Jimmy Stewart’s youngest on-screen daughter. From savory main courses to festive desserts, this book provides 250 old-fashioned recipes inspired by the movie, including Violet’s Spicy Chicken, Silver Bells Christmas Cookies, Henry Potter Pot Pie, Harry Bailey Hero Sandwich, Mrs. Martini’s Creamy Linguine and “Zuzu, My Little Gingersnap” Cookies.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.