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Cookies & Milk for Santa? You betcha! Plus, 4 Dunk Worthy Recipes…

Photo by Nikolett Emmert on

It’s no wonder Santa is as round as a snowball!  If you visited as many homes as he and ate as many snacks as he, you too, would be just as round. With an estimated 2 billion children around the world leaving delicious treats in preparation for Santa’s arrival, have you wondered just how many calories that would be?  Well, hypothetically using the three cookie rule, it would equal roughly 226 billion calories. And, if all 2 billion kids leave 2% milk, too? Well, good ole’ Santa is swallowing 470 billion calories. Good thing he has many elves to help roll him into bed when Christmas is over!

Seriously though, why do we leave cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve? In the United States, cookies and milk are synonymous with bedtime but Santa isn’t sleeping. Oh no, not this rotund holiday spirit! He doesn’t sleep a wink on Christmas Eve because his list is long, long, long and he’s got one job to do  – that’s to leave something special for all of those good little boys and girls! 

Thankfully, he can recharge his batteries with a few sugar cookies here and some lightly iced gingerbread men there, and wash it all down with a cold glass of milk and onto the next home with stockings hung with care.

top view of gingerbread on glass tray beside a cup of drink and christmas balls

The real story is that the tradition of cookies and milk on Christmas Eve dates back to the Great Depression.  At that time, so many people had so little of everything that parents taught their children to share and thank others for their kindness towards them.  One way to instill this idea was to leave snacks out for Santa and his reindeer in a simple act of appreciation.

Today, Santa looks for those plates of crumbly goodness because as researchers have proven at the North Pole, cookies are the fastest way to replace all of those hard burned calories.  In fact, when he was asked about it recently in an interview on he said he loves anything that is left for him but he always eats all of the cookies and especially loves the homemade ones!

Cookies and milk might be popular in the United States but what do children in other countries leave?

  • Australia – Lemonade or ice-cold beer – it is summertime after all!
  • Ireland – More beer – in the form of stout
  • Chile – fruitcake
  • France – Glass of wine, cookies and carrots
  • Sweden – Steaming cup of coffee
  • England – Mince pie and a glass of Sherry
  • Germany – Handwritten notes

Whew, after a whirlwind trip around the world delivering packages, we certainly hope that Santa brings along some spanks so he doesn’t burst that lovely red suit and at the very least some antacid!

If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas cookie to leave out for Santa this year check these 4 fab cookie recipes…

Rudolph Cookies

Rudolph might get a little jealous if he catches sight of these but leaving him ample carrots will give Santa plenty of time to gobble them down!  Want to make them, Your Cup of Cake shows you how.  Photo:

Christmas Lights Christmas Cookies

These adorable and creative cookies are easily made with mini M&M’s just turned sidewards. Get the recipe and instructions for making these delicious cookies over at

Gingerbread Wreath

You can never just have one gingerbread cookie, so make a whole wreath!  Photo:

Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

melting snowmen.jpeg
These melting snowmen are a creative way to greet Santa!  Photo:  Better Homes & Gardens

So, ginger snap, sugar cookies, chocolate chip or just plain old Oreo’s, don’t forget the milk for dunking this Christmas Eve.  See you in the next blog!

Deb Fries is a freelance designer and writer and worked at Julianna Rae in Graphics and Customer Service, she now writes for the blog at