why do we leave cookies for santa

Part of the magic of Christmas is the wonder and delight on childrenвs faces at all of the sights and sounds that surround them during the holidays. The twinkling lights, the letters to
Santa, the stories and carols are all part of the tradition that marks Christmas as a very special time. In every part of the world, kids prepare a plate of cookies for Santaвs snack when he visits their homes on Christmas Eve. Itвs hard for children to sleep that night anticipating his visit, but good little boys and girls know he wonвt come until theyвre tucked snugly in bed with eyes shut! The tradition of leaving cookies for Santa is believed to have started at the time of the Great Depression by parents wanting to inspire their children to share with others, especially during a time of great need. Now kids happily leave cookies and milk for Santaвand often a carrot for his reindeer to share, knowing in the morning there will be just a few crumbs on the plate, and an empty glass signifying that the jolly old man enjoyed his treat!


Traditions are important, and the ones you share with your children will eventually be passed on to their own families in the future. Why not make leaving cookies for Santa a special event? Choose a time to bake cookies together and let the little ones decorate the cookies theyвll be leaving for that jolly old elf. Santa doesnвt care if the cookies are slightly misshapen or garishly iced в he knows they were made with love and laughter! Play Christmas carols and holiday music while you work together, and fill your kitchen with sugary aromas and lots of giggles. Itвs a little messy and a lot merry to build this tradition together. Allow the kids to stir the ingredients and sneak a taste. Let them decide on a pretty plate and glass for Santaвs snack, and help them write him a note to leave with the treat в something they can work on while the cookies bake.


Smaller children can draw him a special picture to tuck in beside the plate. Share your own childhood Christmas memories while you work, and talk about other family traditions special to these holidays. Children will remember fun activities you do together every year and look forward to continuing them. You can even talk about adding some new traditions to your familyвs Christmas: new pajamas for everyone for Christmas Eve, searching for and cutting your own fresh tree, or sleeping around the Christmas tree one night during the season! Soon everyone will be contributing ideas and youвre sure to find one thatвs simple and fun, destined to become another anticipated family tradition! Itвs much more than simply making cookies with your children в youвre making cherished memories! This is the 7th in a series of Christmas 2010 Posts.


My family doesn t have a lot of Christmas traditions that date back generations. We just kind of wing it every year. But, there is one tradition that is considered to be so sacred the mere consideration of NOT performing this ritual on Christmas Eve can bring tears to the eyes of children and panic to the heart of adults. This is the tradition of putting out cookies and milk for Santa. Last year, with all the Christmas festivities, putting out milk and cookies on the special Santa cookie plate was not thought of until just before bedtime. Oh No!!! No carrots for the rein deer! I tried to convince my 6 year old grandson that reindeer eat lots of different things. They in fact LOVE celery, which I had a bunch of. б NOPE! That would not due. Carrots! You put out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer! My grandson was convinced if the reindeer did not get a snack at our house, it could ruin Christmas for everyone.


So, off my husband went looking for fresh carrots at 9pm on Christmas Eve. Interestingly enough, he ran into another Dad making a midnight run for carrots as well! Needless to say I m well stocked in carrots this year. Leaving treats out for Gods and mythical characters has been going in other countries for a 1000 years and is nothing new. Leaving of treats for Santa could be linkб to the original Norse myth that Odin and his fellow hunters flew through the sky on their Yule hunting adventures. б Children would leave hay and treats for Sleipner, Odins eight legged horse, in hopes that Odin would stop and feed the critter and be so thankful that he would leave treats (candy) for the children. This tradition was handed down to Dutch children who leave treats for Father Christmas s horse. Eventually this custom was brought to America by the millions of immigrants who came from European countries.


There is no exact date recorded but the idea of leaving cookies out for Santa started in America sometime in the 1930Бs. The most popular cookie kids leave for Santa is the Oreo. I think it s primarily because the grownups like them. Families also share in the Christmas cookie baking ritual giving Santa a nice homemade selection. Naughty kids use the cookies to bribe Santa at the last minute and nice kids use them as a way of thanking him for all his hard work on Christmas Eve. Here are some Christmas Eve Santa snack traditions from around the world. United States and Canada Britain and Australia Sweden Ireland ~ It is popular to give him Guinness or milk, along with Christmas pudding or mince pies and a carrot for the reindeer Denmark Belgium If you have a unique family traditions involving cookies and milk for Santa or know of other traditions from around the world, please share. DON T FORGET THE CARROTS!