Throw the Milk and Cookies Out: What Santa Really Wants For Christmas

Ever wondered where the tradition of leaving milk and cookies for Santa comes from? Probably not, but out of mystical curiosity we searched and found that the theory dates back to Western Germany and was formed as part of a medieval custom. A "paradise" tree was decorated with apples, wafers, and/or cookies. When the tree merged with Christianity and became the Christmas tree, cookies and wafers stayed as part of the decoration. How 'bout them apples? Apparently Santa didn't like those, but he did seem to like the fattening stuff.

On Christmas morning, after children opened their gifts and actually took notice of the tree, they realized that the cookies had been snacked on, and attributed it to Santa (who else could have done this?). In reality the culprit here were mice, but no good parent was about to tell their newly excited and Santa believing munchkin the truth. In turn, children took this opportunity to get Santa on their good side and use food as a bribe for better presents, and so a tradition was born. Parents moved the cookies away from mice and off the tree closer to a safe place and on a plate where it was more hygienic for Santa to eat from. Homes that did not use wafers or cookies as edible decorations but heard the stories thought it would be quite the treat to leave out something for themselves while they did Santa's work. Eventually fewer and fewer people decorated the tree with food but wanted to keep up the tradition of leaving something for Saint Nick.

We're not really sure whether we believe this, but be it true or false, it's about time the old tradition gets a new twist. After all, Santa's a foodie. Have you seen that belly? So give Santa a break and cut him off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar and these other options instead.

See Also:

-Christmas Lechon: From Hialeah to Your House (Recipe)

-Miami New Year's Eve 2013 Dinners

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.