Favorite Tradition: Leaving Milk and Cookies for Santa

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On the night of Christmas Eve, Santa delivers presents to many families and eats over 300 million cookies. Making cookies and milk has been a tradition families have done for over a century while creating warm memories. The tradition of leaving cookies for Santa Claus commenced during the Great Depression, and over the years children have left many types of cookies for Santa and still do today.

According to most historians, the Great Depression was when the tradition of leaving cookies for Santa initiated. It is assumed that parents would have their children bake cookies and share them with Santa. By doing this, parents believed it would influence them to share and care for others.

Aside from the most popular theory, people also agree that the tradition might have originated from the Dutch. It was said that Dutch children would leave hay for St. Nick’s horse, Sinterklaas, in exchange for marzipan, chocolate coins, and hot cocoa.

Another theory that is accepted, is that the tradition appeared during the Victorian Era. This so called era was from 1837 to 1901. People in America would throw parties and everyone would gather for this Christmas celebration. The host or hostess would leave Scotch and wafer cookies out by their Christmas tree in thanks for their blessed life to St. Nick since it was part of their Christianity beliefs.

The last theory of where leaving cookies for Santa emerged, was in Germany. People would adorn their paradise tree with wafer cookies and apples in hopes that St. Nick wold stop by their house.

As a result of this tradition, Santa does have his favorite cookies. His number one favorite cookie is the traditional chocolate chip cookie. Another one of his favorites, is the sugar cookie. People always make designs like reindeer, Santa, candy canes, and more with a lot of sprinkles and many colors which he loves. Another one of his favorites, is the exquisite jam filled cookie. Santa’s concluding favorite cookie is the oatmeal raisin cookies because he claims that it’s healthy and contains a multitude of fiber. Santa prefers having nutritional facts about his cookies like the calories, total fat, sugar, and protein per serving. Most of Santa’s favorite cookies are the classics.

In addition to the history behind leaving cookies for Santa, cookie facts from the past also contribute to this tradition. For example, Santa Claus eats over 300 million cookies on Christmas eve; that’s about two bites per cookie. Also, Christmas cookies were first invented to test the temperature of an oven. Over half of American homes in the United States bake chocolate chip cookies. The final fact about Christmas cookies, is that gingerbread men were illegal in some places of the United States during the time period of 1517 to 1648. These facts have taken part in the society today by having people bake cookies for Santa in several decades and celebrating the arrival of Santa Claus.

Overall, The tradition is a very important part of people’s lives during the Christmas holidays. Children to this day still create colorful cookies for Santa Claus even though the tradition started all the way dating back to the Great Depression. The one and only tradition of leaving milk and cookies for Santa is still alive and thriving while creating warm memories for generations to come.  

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Favorite Tradition: Leaving Milk And Cookies For Santa. (2021, May 24). Retrieved March 5, 2024 , from

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