My favorite part of the holidays is easily the food. Off from work and school, trapped inside by the infringing cold weather, you have every reason to spend hours in the kitchen making late morning brunch feasts, fiddly time-consuming Christmas cookies, and daily meals from scratch. Possibly the second best part of this time of year is the constant flow of cheesy, sappy, classic Christmas movies on TV. From Freeform's 25 days of Christmas to the selection of holiday movies on Netflix, there is always an opportunity to tune in to a festive story. 

To combine these two is to create true holiday magic. Waking up late to watch Elf with a big warm bowl of outrageous pancakes, making cookies with the little ones in your family while watching The Santa Clause, or snuggling up with a cup of Christmas Eve tea to watch A Christmas Carol are only a few of the best ways to spend the season. Whatever your favorite holiday movie is, treat yourself and your friends to something homemade and delicious as you watch.

1. Elf

When it comes to food, Buddy has a pretty straight-forward approach. Everything he eats or "cooks" is made with lots of love and loads of sugar, meant to put a smile on everyones face. Spaghetti with maple syrup is certainly an option, but this Ridiculous Pancake Breakfast Sundae might be a little more tempting, and would still surely impress Buddy.

ice cream, ice, chocolate, cream, caramel
Lucy Rubin

Topped with Nutella whipped cream, toasty walnuts, ice cream, and Reese's peanut butter cups, it is an outrageous Buddy-approved way to start your day. So when Elf shows up on TV one winter morning, whip up some pancakes, build your sundae, crumble a pop tart over top if you really want to get into character, and enjoy.

2. The Polar Express

Hot Chocolate. Duh. It's the reason we all wish the train were real. Santa is great, but nothing compared to the creamy, perfect liquid gold served on the Polar Express. If you have ever seen this movie, you know that those kids are not drinking Swiss Miss, so skip out on the box mix and try this drinking chocolate instead.

coffee, chocolate
Kate Donald

Drinking chocolate is boxed hot chocolate's rich European cousin, made with whole milk and melted dark chocolate. Make a cup, snatch some Christmas cookies, grab a blanket, and never envy the kids on the train again.

3. A Christmas Carol

Best watched after a busy day of baking Christmas cookies or holiday shopping, a viewing of A Christmas Carol accompanied by a warm cup of herbal holiday Tea sounds like a relaxing way to end the day. This movie can get a little spooky, but tea's soothing properties are sure to get you through. 

coffee, milk, tea, espresso, cream, cappuccino, sweet
Rosalind Chang

Steep a cup of Stash's Christmas Eve or Pumpkin Spice, get the fireplace going, and enjoy this Christmas classic.

4. The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause is perhaps the most classic family holiday movie on TV. So, bake a batch of these bright and decorative iced sugar cookies while watching this cheesy and light-hearted movie. If your young cousin is around or your neighbors brought the kids over, this is a great opportunity to let them help you out.

cake, cookie
Livia Greene

They may be a little messy, but its the holidays. Live a little. Whether you're cooking with kids, or just denying adulthood post-finals week, a plate of homemade cookies and Tim Allen in the background will bring you right back to the Christmas of your childhood.

5. A Christmas Story

Christmas dinner does not go exactly as planned in this one, so show Ralfie and his family some moral support by joining them in a Chinese food Christmas feast. Make a batch of these warm Chinese dumplings to impress your holiday guests, or give this 30 minute Clay Pot a try for something simpler.

dumpling, meat, gyoza, ravioli, pork, chicken, dough, vegetable
Monica Cheng

It may not be the turkey dinner you think of at this time of year,  but you will surely enjoy your evening more than the Parkers do. As long as dogs are kept out of the kitchen and your food is homemade, this dinner and a movie will be a success.

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What the heck is in that goop they call "Who-Pudding"? Nobody knows. Whatever it is, it does not look particularly appetizing. So maybe instead of stuffing your face with whatever goop the Grinch suffers through, try making a classic Christmas pudding instead.

This pudding is super rich, fruity, and extremely moist, so you'll only need one slice to satisfy your Christmas feast cravings. Take a Cindy Lou Hoo approach and share your pudding with friends and family while you watch the Grinch learn to do the same. 

7. Home Alone

Plain cheese pizza, Kevin's favorite! But not any old delivery pizza. We are better than that. We are also not cute and clever enough to get away with our parents' money anymore.  

Try making your own pizza this Christmas with this simple extra cheesy pizza recipe. Take a break from the roast beef and Christmas cookies and relax with a satisfying slice of plain cheese while watching this holiday classic.

Happy Holidays!

No matter what Christmas movie tops your list, make it even better by cooking something that will make you feel like part of the story. Whether you happen to flip to a showing of Elf on TV one morning or you are settling in for your annual family viewing of A Christmas Story, these festive, from-scratch recipes will take the experience to a whole new level.