Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why is Santa always given cookies and milk?

Most of the children in the world know that a very important thing to do before Christmas is setting up Santa’s dinner, which usually consists of milk and cookies. Have you ever wondered how this custom was born?

Just like the existence of the Christmas tree, the idea of giving Santa milk and cookies, so that he will catch his breath and gain a little more powers for spreading presents in the Christmas Eve is quite old.

All this started in Germany, 400 years ago. Every year, when the time of season came, people would place a big pine tree in every city where families would put food for the little kids. The food ranged, but was not limited to apples, oranges, cakes and pretzels. On the 25th of December, they were all taken out of the pine tree and given to children in the city, along with a cup of milk.

As 4 centuries passed, the tradition has also changed a bit. The tree which used to be placed in the centre of cities started being put inside the house of every family, as a welcome to the holidays. The reason must have been related to hygiene, due to the fact that the food would be eaten by other animals or that it would spoil quite fast. As this change happened, parents thought of a new way to explain why they had to make the change. Children were told that on the Christmas night, Santa came in their homes in order to take a bite. After some time, when sweets stopped being placed in the Christmas tree, they would be put on a table nearby or under the tree along with the presents. Because of the fact that families wanted their children to believe, but also wanted Santa to have a good meal, they started placing a cup of milk together with the cookies.

There are also other stories which explain all about Santa’s cookies and milk. For example, in a few Scandinavian countries, people say that the cookies and milk are left out for the small elf which helps Santa out. He goes by the name of Julenisse and is thought to be in charge of many important aspects in regards to Santa’s gift spreading. In Island, the tradition says that on the 25th December each year, somebody in the household should leave bread and milk on the doorstep, as a symbol of hospitality.

Regardless of where the tradition came from, the little ones from all the continents know that Santa Claus needs a good meal, which should always be accompanied by a cup of milk. This is sure to help Santa bring gifts to all the children in the world.

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