Christmas Movies, Traditions and Recipes for the Holidays - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Christmas Movies, Traditions and Recipes for the Holidays


Is there one Christmas movie that you love above all others? I have a few favorites.  I am sharing some movies, traditions and recipes that we have enjoyed over the Holiday season and you may as well.

Christmas/Holiday Outfits

Before I get into these things I want to enjoy over the Holidays, did you catch my Christmas Outfit Inspiration post? I shared Christmas and Holiday outfits past and present and hope you may find some ideas.

Remember the “ugly sweater” trend?

Christmas Movies

Do you ever cry from laughing so hard? I find that the movie, ELF does that for me. Will Ferrel is just so joyous and filled with anticipation for Santa but doesn’t realize how big of an elf he is!

It’s a Wonderful Life, need I say more. Jimmy Stewart in this classic film, is so touching, I can watch it every year.

My favorite is White Christmas! I love hearing Bing Crosby sing! “I love this story of song-and-dance team becoming romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.” wiki.

We watched The Christmas Chronicles together last year, with Kurt Russel and it was a lot of fun and a “feel-good” movie.


Well, when we were little, we would go to Church at Midnight Mass. My parents tried this once and realized with my sister snoring in the front row, maybe we were too young for Midnight Mass! We would get up very early, tear through our gifts, and then go to Church. Afterward, my Aunt would have breakfast, as she lives down the street.

We would put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving every year, and I loved decorating and getting special ornaments. I was in charge of the “snow” on the window using spray snow and templates.

A Ukrainian Christmas meal would be turkey or ham and perogies with vegetables. .“The first and indispensable dish is kutya, a preparation of cooked wheat dressed with honey, ground poppy seed, and sometimes chopped nuts. This ritual dish, of a very ancient origin, has survived hundreds of generations without losing its importance in the Christmas festivity. it starts the meal in a ceremonial manner. The head of the family raises the first spoonful of the kutya, invoking God’s grace, and greets the family with the traditional Christmas greet: “Khrystos Rodyvsya” (Christ is born), to which they all reply in unison: “Slavim Yoho!” (Let us glorify Him). Following this ritual everyone must partake of the kutya, if only but a spoonful. It was meant for “Good Luck” and I do remember holding my nose as a kid, as I wasn’t a fan of kutya.


My husband and I have a tradition of getting a special ornament for each other for the year. I just love unpacking the boxes and bringing back memories. A great way to remember a trip too!

A few years ago, my sister in law and I started a new tradition of making a new cocktail to try each Christmas Holiday.

Here are the ones we have made:

The first year it was-Christmas Mimosas!

Then we made Easy White Christmas Margarita Recipe | Holiday Cocktails (

Last year, I kept with tradition and making this Cranberry Martini I mentioned

Recipes- Cookies!

These are just a few of the delicious treats my mom would make at Christmas time. b

Buckeyes- These were the “Holy Grail” of cookies for our family. Chocolate balls with peanut butter. Yes, please!

These round little chocolate peanut butter confections also have cream cheese and butter in the recipe for an even richer taste!

this recipe is from  but is nearly identical to “moms”.

My mom and dad went to a cooking class at Rania’s house. She is a well known cook in Pittsburgh, and just offered this scrumptious recipe on Gingerbread Biscotti. You could always drizzle a bit of white icing on it as well.

Photo credit*KDKA

Thumbprint cookies with either jam or icing

Khyustyky- My mom would make these fried confections with powdered sugar

for the Holidays. They are also known as “angel wings” or “bowties”.

photo from Claudia’s Cookbook

Tell me some of the recipes or traditions that you enjoy at Christmas time. I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Join me tomorrow as I share one last Holiday outfit look on Turning Heads Tuesday!

Jess xx


  • rawsonjl
    Posted at 18:01h, 21 December Reply

    We love buckeyes too! We also buy a new ornament each year as a memory of our year and I love decorating our tree the day after Thanksgiving and seeing them all again.

  • Patricia Hoffmann
    Posted at 13:25h, 21 December Reply

    Such a great story about Ukrainian traditions! Dutch tradition is celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas (Sinterclaus in Dutch) on Dec. 6th, when kids in the Netherlands leave their wooden shoes outside so St. Nick can fill them with candy and toys. Merry Christmas!

  • Maureen
    Posted at 12:39h, 20 December Reply

    These are a great list of movies and Christmas traditions Jess. On my end, we don’t have a favorite Christmas movie unless Frosty the Snowman counts then we watch that each year! In terms of tradition, my parents also took my siblings and I to attend midnight mass. Since moving to the US, it’s become rare and we have not made it to church for awhile. I need to start this up so that I can pass on this tradition with my son. Baking though, is one of our favorite activities. We’ve been doing that beginning in October! Oh and we wear our ugly sweaters! It’s a must!

    Maureen |

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:00h, 21 December Reply

      Hi Maureen. Oh, yes, of course the classics! Frosty and Rudolph were some of our favorites as kids. Midnight mass was tough as kids, but the church was beautiful. That sounds great Maureen! I do love traditions that are passed down and withheld. I need to bake a few things and I have the gingerbread biscotti on my mind for when we get back . Sounds fun! Wising you a Blessed Holiday

  • Jodie
    Posted at 12:05h, 20 December Reply

    I always love watching those movies. The first time I saw Elf, I just didn’t get it. But now I love it. We even saw the play a couple of years ago, and it was fabulous.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:58h, 21 December Reply

      I would have enjoyed it as a play! So funny when he gets all excited about Santa!

  • Jess Jannenga
    Posted at 09:34h, 20 December Reply

    Oh, it is such a great classic movie. I am thinking I will bake some today, maybe before I get my hair done. Cookies are hard to resist! 🙂

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 08:10h, 20 December Reply

    I have never seen White Christmas – I need to! That Gingerbread Biscotti sounds so good and so do those bow tie cookies. I baked yesterday and now all I want to do is eat!

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