What kids around the world leave for santa claus on christmas eve
It’s customary for most children here in the United States to leave milk and cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Some kids prefer to leave a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Leaving a treat for Santa is a tradition that dates back to the Great Depression, when parents wanted to teach their children the value of giving selflessly to others. For others, this tradition was brought to the U.S. from the Old Country or Old Countries, and what kids leave for Santa can vary considerably from country to country.
In Sweden, children leave a bowl of rice porridge outside the front door, where Santa enters the home instead of through the chimney. The porridge is thickened with milk and flavored with cinnamon and a little salt. Some families add almonds, butter, jam, or molasses, but the traditional version doesn’t have to be sweetened.
Another Swedish tradition entails leaving a cheese and butter sandwich outside the door, along with a carrot for the reindeer.
In Italy, children leave a clementine and some hay for Santa’s donkey, because reindeer are not always his chosen mode of transportation. Others leave a clementine and a glass of wine. In fact, in most countries, children leave Santa a more potent drink than milk. In Great Britain, for example, children leave a mince pie and a nip of sherry to brace Father Christmas for the chill.
In Ireland, where folks are known for enjoying a bit of Irish whiskey or a Guinness Stout, that’s exactly what they leave for Santa. It’s jokingly thought that the class of whiskey needs to be refilled a couple of times during the night, thanks to Dad. In Norway, they leave a jug of beer along with the rice pudding.
In Australia, the custom of leaving an alcoholic beverage accompanied by a bit of fruitcake, which is usually also laden with whiskey or rum. Of course, in December, which is summer in Australia, a cold beer seems to be a good choice.
In South Africa, it’s customary to leave some barbeque. And in West Africa, seafood or meat soup is the Christmas Eve tradition.
In Chili, South America, children leave a traditional Chilean Christmas fruitcake. In Iceland, Christmas Eve is the night when the first of 13 different Icelandic Santa’s arrive over 13 days, to bring apples, oranges, or other treats. Children leave their shoes in the window and hope to get something in their shoe after being especially good.
In Germany, Switzerland, and El Salvador, Santa has letters to read instead of snacks to eat. The letters are filled with children’s wishes and dreams. And in Latvia, both children and adults are required to recite a poem in front of the Christmas tree. But Santa might also snag a spicy holiday gingerbread cookie made with white pepper, before heading to the next stop on his global trip.
Back in the good old USA, children can leave Santa just about anything they think Santa will enjoy, such as pizza, a Red Bull energy drink, or simply a cold glass of water. And don’t forget to leave a bucket of water for the reindeer. They get thirsty too.