Santa traditions from around the world


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV)- You are getting your cookies and milk ready for Santa next Friday night, but why?

Let’s look at a few theories about leaving stuff for Santa.

During the feast St. Nickolas, December 6th, children would leave food and drink for the saint and find gifts in exchange in the morning. Dutch children would leave treats out for Father Christmas’ horse. The Germans would decorate their Christmas trees with apples, wafers and cookies and Santa would often snack on them.

And what about America?

Leaving milk and cookies dates to the 1930’s and the Great Depression, leaving something simple for Santa was showing appreciation and gratitude for the gifts he left even while America was going through some tough times.

Around the world, it’s a bit different: British and Australians leave a little adult sherry and mince pies…also cookies and milk.

Instead of milk, families leave pints of Guinness out for Santa during his stops in Ireland. Swedish kids leave rice porridge and cups of coffee. French children leave wine for Santa and they stuff hay and carrots in their shoes for the reindeer. In Denmark and Belgium children believe that horses carry Santa’s sleigh, not reindeer, so they leave carrots and hay.

Argentinian children leave hay and water for his reindeer and in Germany, children just leave letters for Santa Claus.

It’s estimated that we leave at least 330 million cookies out for Santa in the United States and Santa thereby consumes a billion calories on Christmas Eve.

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