Milk and Cookies for Santa Claus
Don’t forget to leave out a milk and cookies for Santa. In the United States, this tradition took off in the 1930’s during the great depression. Parents were trying to instill in their children that the importance of giving back.
It is believed that this tradition is rooted in the old custom of leaving goodies for Santa Claus in stockings that were hung by the chimney. The stockings were left for Santa as a welcoming gift near the area where he entered the home. However, today stockings are usually filled with small gifts and treats for children.
The roots of this tradition actually go back even farther than the stockings. In ancient Norse mythology Odin, a Norse God, had an eight-legged horse named Sleipner and ravens on each shoulder. Children would leave food out for the horse hoping that they would receive presents in return.
There are some countries today that still carry on a similar tradition. They believe that Santa uses horses instead of reindeer so they leave out carrots and hay.
Different countries have different traditions that are similar to milk and cookies. Some of these are as follows:
· Argentina – Hay and Water
· Australia – Milk, Cookies, Carrots and Beer
· Chile – Pan de Pascua (Fruitcake)
· Denmark – Rice Pudding
· England – Mince Pie and Sherry
· France – Carrots and Biscuits
· Germany – Personalized Letters
· Ireland – Mince Pie and Beer
· The Netherlands – Carrots, Hay and Water
· Sweden – Coffee
So, if you are in the United States and want to show your gratitude to Santa for your gifts, make sure that you leave that jolly man out some milk and cookies.