Sunday, December 22, 2013

postheadericon The Story of Why We Leave Cookies for Santa

Milk & Cookies

How many of us grew up leaving a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer?  Then we of course passed the tradition on to our children. Obviously, Jolly Old Saint Nick enjoys the treats, but why do we do this? 

During medieval times in Western Germany what they called a Paradise Tree would be decorated with gifts of fruit and cookies.  The folks began to notice that the gifts would be snacked on, presumably by St. Nick, during the night (my guess is more likely mice).  Then with the introduction of Christianity to Europe, the Paradise Tree became the Christmas Tree but the tradition of decorating the tree continued. 

After many years (about the 1800s) German immigrants in American began to use ornaments to decorate their trees.  The Christmas tree began to catch on in America, decorated with lights, ornaments and strings of popcorn.  The cookies began to find their way to plates placed by the fire place, Santa's entrance to deliver gifts, by good children as a thank you to Santa for all his hard work on Christmas Eve.  And of course, what considerate family would not leave a glass of milk to wash down the cookies?  

It is said the tradition of leaving carrots for the reindeer began as a result of naughty children trying to bribe the reindeer to stop for a treat and Santa being so pleased with the child he would leave a gift. 

Most popular Cookie?

Did you know the most popular cookie to leave for Santa is the Oreo?  Mmmmm! 

Growing up, in my family we always left Santa cookies and milk on a paper plate and Santa always wrote us a note of thanks on the paper plate!  

What is your Christmas cookie tradition?  Do you have a special plate?  A certain cookie?  Or libation you leave for Santa?