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The History Of Why We Leave Milk And Cookies Out For Santa Claus Every Year

 

Christmas has evolved to include a number of smaller traditions, such as placing a star on a Christmas tree, opening the Advent calendar, and/or leaving a plate of cookies for Santa Claus. But why, exactly, why did we decide on a mythical figure capable of turning the necessary snack breaks into place and time at every pit stop? And why those snacks? No one knows for sure why we leave out cookies for Santa, but we do have some clues to the origins of this holiday tradition.

Odin's Horse

Odin was a prominent figure in Norse mythology and one of the bases of the Santa Claus myth, partly thanks to his eight-legged horse Sleipner, who may have inspired Santa's eight reindeer. During the Yuletide, young children would often leave small gifts to lure the sleeper into their homes, hoping that Odin would reward them for their generosity.


Offerings to Saint Nicholas

Another person responsible for our modern understanding of Jolly Old Saint Nick was, well, Jolly Old Saint Nick. The real saint was a Greek orphan who in the 3rd century decided to use his considerable inheritance to help the needy all over the world, rather than buying what the rich people did for entertainment. They celebrated the day of his death with the Feast of St. Nicholas, where children traditionally leave foods such as small cakes and drinks as offerings to the guest of honor at the end of the feast. During the night, the gifts inevitably disappear, being replaced by gifts of thanks for the children from "St.


Christmas Tree Cookies

The original Christmas tree looked very different from the colorful display of electric lights and Snoopy ornaments we put on each year today. The Paradise Tree, a prop used in religious plays to represent the Garden of Eden in medieval Germany, was decorated with cookies, cakes, wafers, and apples, before announcing it to the townspeople through the streets. Marched for what they would get better. their seats because the drama was about to begin. When the traditions merged and the Paradise Tree was transformed into the modern Christmas tree, many Germans continued to decorate their trees with cookies and tell their children that the presents were a gift to Santa Claus.


Gingerbread Men

In the 13th-century Netherlands, bakers began making all kinds of things from gingerbread to simple cookies to ornate model houses. Soon after bringing their traditions to the rest of Europe, gingerbread houses became a part of St. Nicholas Day celebrations. After decorating their homes with candy, fruit, and any other pieces of sweetness, the children left them for Nick and his crew, but they often found the houses largely untouched in the morning. Perhaps, they thought, St. Nicholas (or whoever was actually in charge of cleaning up the wares) found gingerbread houses too beautiful or cumbersome to eat, so they decided to leave out gingerbread cookies instead, often shaped in their likeness. Gave. The practice is not only part of the reason we leave cookies for Santa but also the origin of the Gingerbread Man.

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