Leaving a plate of cookies with a glass of milk by the Christmas tree just before bed, as a treat for Santa Claus, teaches us to consider the needs of others with gratitude, but it also might just work to entice an extra present or two out of him — especially if you also leave a carrot for his reindeer. This American custom has been around since at least the 1930s but has roots in holiday celebrations from across the world and long ago.
In Norse mythology, the god Odin would ride an eight-legged horse named Sleipner, and during Yule, children in Northern Europe would set out hay and grains for Sleipner in hopes that Odin would leave them gifts in his travels. Saint Nicholas and his attendants were also symbolically offered food and drink for his traditional feast, which was exchanged for gifts overnight throughout the European and Mediterranean civilizations.
The decorated Christmas tree itself stems from a Germanic paradise tree and traditionally included fruits and wafers among the decorations, often sampled by Santa Claus. As using food as décor became less popular, families during the Great Depression still wanted to instill in their children the spirit of sharing and continued to leave sweet treats for jolly old Santa and his reindeer.
Enjoy all of your holiday treats, eats and drinks at Cantoro Market this Holiday Season! P.S. always get enough cookies to share with friends, family and Santa!