A Short, Interesting History Of The "Milk And Cookies" Tradition
Entertainment

A Short, Interesting History Of The "Milk And Cookies" Tradition

You could be drinking Guinness in Ireland or eating mince meat pies in Australia instead.

4373

As some children prepare for St. Nick's arrival, many will perch cookies and a glass of milk on the hearth, while others will simply leave Santa's goodies on an end table. Either way, most parents are excited to have an excuse to snack on sweets late into the evening as they wrap gifts. However, this is an American tradition, and other countries have their own version. Here are some interesting facts about the "milk and cookies" Christmas tradition.

According to History.com, the modern tradition can be traced back to the Great Depression in the 1930's. Parents wanted to teach their children the value of charity, so they baked chocolate chip cookies to place in stockings and poured a glass of milk for Santa, a typical childhood treat. So, for more than 80 years, children have been leaving cookies and milk out for the jolly man. "History" points out, however, that this tradition is a derivative of Norse mythology. Odin, a Norse god, rode upon Sleipner, his eight-legged horse. During the Yule season, children left carrots and other treats for the horse with the hope that Odin would recognize their altruism and give out gifts for the act.

According to an article in "The New Yorker," author Jon Michuad, notes that Toll House chocolate chip cookies were invented in the 1930's, and even though chocolate was in short supply and rationed sharply, women were encouraged to make chocolate chip cookies to send to their husbands or lovers overseas, as even the smallest dose of chocolate provided a sweet distraction from financial woes on the home front and nice reminders overseas. This train of thought evolved to meet the holidays.

Children around the world leave different treats for Santa. According to
"History," Irish children offer Santa Guiness and cookies, while children from Great Britain and Australia are known to give sherry and mince meat pies. Germany avoid foods all together by writing letters to the representation of the Christmas spirit, Christkind, decorated to catch its eye. The Swedes feed Santa hardy rice porridge.

I hope that the symbolism of milk and cookies, altruism, continues to resonate with children that prepare them and the adults that partake of these treats. You can also volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate to Feed America to demonstrate the purpose of this symbolism in a more pertinent way. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments