COOKIES AND MILK
Ever wondered why American kids leave cookies and milk for Santa?
This Christmas Eve, millions of American children will leave out cookies and milk for Santa Claus to enjoy after his trip down their chimney with his bag of gifts. Some will add a few carrots for his trusty reindeer, as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph need sustenance as well. We take a look the origins of this particular custom and how it varies among children in different countries throughout the world.
Leaving cookies and milk for Santa—and perhaps a few carrots for his reindeer—took off as an American holiday tradition in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. In that time of great economic hardship, many parents tried to teach their children that it was important to give to others and to show gratitude for the gifts they were lucky enough to receive on Christmas. Some 80 years later, many children still set out cookies and milk for Santa, whether out of the goodness of their hearts or (in less wholesome cases) as a bribe to receive more gifts from the jolly bearded man in the red suit.
Over the years, different countries have developed their own versions of the cookies-and-milk tradition. British and Australian children leave out sherry and mince pies, while Swedish kids leave rice porridge. Santa can expect a pint of Guinness along with his cookies when delivering toys in Ireland. French children leave out a glass of wine for Père Noël and fill their shoes with hay, carrots and other treats for his donkey, Gui (French for “mistletoe”).
Clancy's comment: Mm ... No wonder Santa has always been depicted as a well-rounded man.