Two of my favorite holiday traditions are watching Christmas movies with my family and cooking a delicious holiday meal. My mother always loved having my sister and I in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies for all our neighbors. Then we spent countless hours watching films like Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Carol and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town. I carried on this same tradition when I had children of my own. I have such fond memories of watching Elf, Home Alone and The Polar Express with my own children. However, I didn’t quite inherit the cooking/baking gene from my mother and always needed to refer to a good cookbook for help.

If you are looking to start new holiday traditions with your family, below are some fun and inventive holiday cookbooks that are paired with some of the most popular and traditional holiday season movies. Complete with tips on entertaining and menu ideas for your merry gatherings, these cookbooks are the perfect companions to your holiday season.

The Christmas Movie Cookbook: Recipes From Your Favorite Holiday Films
By Julia Rutland

Bring the merry festivities from the movies with The Christmas Movie Cookbook through more than 65 fun recipes inspired by scenes from favorite Christmas films. Do you ever yearn for roast turkey while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Or perhaps you want to try the roast beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas? ’Tis the season to recreate the dishes from your favorite holiday movies with the help of The Christmas Movie Cookbook. This season, you can indulge alongside Elf as you make special spaghetti, or create the meatloaf from A Christmas Story, broccoli and cheese soup from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer or hot chocolate from The Polar Express.

The Unofficial Home Alone Cookbook
By Bryton Taylor

Relive the magic of the iconic moments with these 75 recipes inspired by the cult-classic holiday movie Home Alone. Whether you’re fending off the Wet Bandits or just a hungry family trying to snag the coveted last slice of cheese pizza, this fun cookbook is here to keep hunger at bay. From appetizers and main dishes to refreshing drinks and holiday-worthy desserts, this book is perfect for nostalgic Home Alone fans looking to recreate that “I made my family disappear!” magic. The Unofficial Home Alone Cookbook has all the recipes you’ll need to make a meal worthy of Kevin McCallister himself.

Zuzu Bailey’s It’s a Wonderful Life Cookbook
By Karolyn Grimes and Franklin Dohanyos

Celebrating one of the most beloved Christmas films of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life, this book is brimming with movie lore and recipes meant to delight friends and families as well as entertain movie buffs – presented by the actress who played star Jimmy Stewart’s youngest on-screen daughter. From savory main courses to festive desserts, this book contains 250 recipes inspired by fictional Bedford Falls, including Violet’s spicy chicken, Silver Bells Christmas cookies, Henry Potter pot pie, fifty-cents-on-the-dollar chuck roast, Harry Bailey hero sandwich, Mrs. Martini’s creamy linguine and “Zuzu, my little gingersnap” cookies. As a bonus, the book contains bits of trivia from the movie, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and reminiscences from the stars of the film.

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol: A Book-to-Table Classic
By Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol: A Book-to-Table Classic is a deluxe, full-color hardback edition of the enduring Christmas classic featuring a selection of recipes for your holiday table from Giada de Laurentiis, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart and Trisha Yearwood. This clever edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol shares delicious recipes from celebrity chefs. Plan your perfect Christmas feast with a carefully curated menu of holiday dishes from succulent baked ham to smashed root vegetables and topped off with fruitcake cookies and pecan pie. It includes the full, unabridged text of A Christmas Carol, interspersed with recipes, food photography and special food artwork.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
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.