For decades, American children would leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, but few people know how and when the holiday traditions began.
In a special Christmas episode Fox Nation‘s ‘At home with Paula Dean’ The famous chef explains the fascinating history behind the sweet tradition and how it inspired countries all over the world in a new episode of “Christmas cookie cutter”.
“We can thank the Dutch, along with other northern Europeans, for bringing cookies to America in the 17th century,” Dean said. “After a change in import laws, inexpensive kitchen items like cookie cutters were finally allowed to be imported from Europe to the American market. From there, a host of new recipes began to emerge and cookies and traditions that we have known since the Middle Ages began to develop.”
According to one theory, the custom of milkcakes can be traced back to the 1930s, during the Great Depression. During this difficult economic period, many parents tried to teach their children that it was important to give them to others and to express their gratitude for the gifts they received during the vacation.
Ultimately, the custom remained an inspiration to countries around the world that adopted their own versions of the famous Christmas tradition.
British and Australian kids leave mince patties and a cup of sherry. Dean explained that children in Denmark leave a bowl of rice pudding, while children in Ireland leave Santa a good old cup of Guinness.
“I hope one of Santa’s elfs leads the sleigh after those things,” she joked.
“In America, it is estimated that Santa eats more than 300 million sweets on Christmas Eve every year,” Dean said, adding, “No wonder he took a small hit on him.”
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