Skip to content
why-do-people-leave-out-cookies-and-milk-for-santa-2000x1000

Why Do People Leave Out Cookies And Milk For Santa?

There are many Christmas traditions that mark this season as a very special time. The different sights and sounds during the holidays are a source of joy. Children are probably among the happiest people during the festivities. They take part in various activities and traditions that have been passed down generations over the years. One of the most popular Christmas traditions is leaving cookies and milk out for Santa when Christmas Eve comes around. This is a ritual that started many years ago and has become commonplace in the US and around the world. Before going to bed, kids prepare a plate of cookies and leave the snack together with a glass of milk to wash it down.

Today, kids leave cookies and milk for Santa, and may occasionally leave a carrot for his reindeer. If there are just crumbs on the plate and an empty glass in the morning, this is a clear sign that the jolly old man enjoyed the treat. While leaving out cookies and milk for Santa has become a well-established Christmas routine, many people do not know how it started. Here are some theories to explain the origins of the tradition.

Why Do People Leave Out Cookies And Milk for Santa?

Nobody knows exactly where this tasty tradition came from, but there are a few common theories of why people started leaving something out for the jolly old man before going to bed on Christmas Eve.

One story suggests that the tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Father Christmas has a connection to Saint Nicholas. It is said that when he was alive, Saint Nicholas spent most of his time helping people in need, especially children. When he “died,” December 6th was chosen as the day to celebrate and remember him. On December 5th, which is the eve of his “death,” people would leave out food for others to enjoy. Children who left food and drinks for the saint and his attendants would have their offerings exchanged for gifts during the night.

Another story shows that leaving cookies and milk for Santa is linked to the history of the Christmas tree. Long ago, people in Germany decorated what they called a paradise tree. The German tradition involved the use of wafers, apples and cookies to decorate the tree. Throughout this period, Santa would enjoy the snacks that were used as decorations. Although the decorations used on a Christmas tree have changed over time, the practice of leaving a treat for the jolly old man stayed.

In America, some people say that the tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa started in the 1920s and 1930s. Naughty children thought they could bribe Santa with the treats in order to get toys and gifts from him. The nice kids, on the other hand, saw this as a way to thank him for the hard work he does on Christmas Eve. Parents also took the chance to encourage their kids to share with others by leaving snacks for Santa Claus as well as treats for his reindeer.

There are many tales that try to explain how this tradition started. It is not possible to know which one is true or to say when cookies and milk became part of Santa's Christmas Eve visit. However, it is important to keep the tradition going. This helps to bring the Christmas mood and allows kids to create memories they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Different Versions in Different Countries

Over the years, different countries and regions have developed and adopted different versions of the cookies-and-milk tradition. The version practiced in an area is determined by the stories and rituals passed down by parents. It is also based on the creativity of the kids taking part in the tradition.

While kids in Sweden leave rice porridge, children in Australia and Britain leave out mince pies and sherry. In Ireland, kids will leave out a plate of cookies for Santa but include a pint of Guinness for him to wash it down with. Children in France leave out a glass of wine for Father Christmas and fill their shoes with carrots, hay, and other treats for his reindeer. German kids skip the snacks and instead leave handwritten letters, believing that Santa will collect the letters and leave gifts in their place.

No matter what treats children leave for Santa, he appreciates that the children of the world want to show their Christmas spirit by giving.

 

FAQ

Why do children leave cookies and milk for Santa?

In the United States, naughty kids would leave cookies and milk for Santa because they thought they could bribe him with treats in order to get gifts. But good boys and girls left cookies and milk to thank Santa for all of the work he does on Christmas Eve.

When did children start leaving treats for Santa?

It is said that the tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa started in the 1920's and 1930's!

Does Santa only like cookies and milk?

No, Santa likes any treat that is left out for him! All around the world children leave Santa different treats and snacks as a part of their own traditions, and he appreciates all of them! You can even leave out a snack for the reindeer.

Santa Countdown

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Leave a Comment