Bisciut Quiz - Answer #1

The United States came up with the milk and cookies Christmas eve menu, but the tradition of leaving nibbles for a generous midnight visitor originates from Norway.

According to old Father History, to discover this festive truth, we need to go all the way back to ancient Norse mythology. Odin, the most important Norse god, had some weird-looking pets, including an eight-legged horse named Sleipner. During the Yule season, kids would leave carrots and hay stuffed in shoes for Sleipner. In return, Odin would stop by and leave gifts of chocolate coins, cocoa, oranges and marzipan.

Fast-forward a thousand years, and most cultures across the globe are leaving out drinks and snacks in appreciation of an old man’s kindness (and in the hope of getting the latest gadgets and expensive goodies Amazon has to offer. Bit of an upgrade from an orange. I hope Santa has good savings and doesn’t have a dairy allergy.)

While this tradition is often associated with the United States, the drink and snack vary from place to place:

🇺🇸 United States 🇺🇸

Children leave out cookies (Oreos or chocolate chip cookies are the most popular) and a glass of milk for Santa Claus.

🇬🇧 United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Children leave out mince pies (don’t worry, it’s not beef mince, but a sweet and fruity mixture) and a small glass of sherry for Father Christmas.

🇸🇪 Sweden 🇸🇪

Children leave out a bowl of porridge for Tomte, a gnome-like creature associated with Christmas.

🇦🇺 Australia 🇦🇺

Children leave a cold beer for Santa Claus (non-alcoholic, as he is technically driving his sleigh all night).

🇮🇪 Ireland 🇮🇪

Children leave out a pint of Guinness for Santa Claus (let’s hope Santa leaves Ireland for last!)

🇩🇪 Germany 🇩🇪

Children leave out plates of cookies, and a glass of mulled wine, for Weihnachtsmann, the Christmas man.

🇳🇴 Norway 🇳🇴

Children leave a bowl of porridge topped with butter as a treat for Julenissen (Santa’s Norwegian nickname).

🇮🇹 Italy 🇮🇹

Children leave out a special Christmas cake called ‘Panettone’ along with a glass of wine for Babbo Natale (Santa’s Italian nickname).

🇳🇱 Netherlands 🇳🇱

Children leave out hay and carrots for Sinterklaas’ horse, hoping for small gifts in return.

🇿🇦 South Africa 🇿🇦

Children leave out a traditional summer dessert (because, in South Africa, Christmas is in summer) along with a refreshing fruit juice for Santa Claus.

🇧🇷 Brazil 🇧🇷

Children leave out a special treat called ‘Rabanada’, a type of French toast, along with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee for Papai Noel (Santa has a lot of nicknames).

🇷🇺 Russia 🇷🇺

Children leave out a sweet bread called ‘Kozunak’ along with a glass of milk for Ded Moroz (Father Frost, Santa’s Russian twin).

🇪🇸 Spain 🇪🇸

Children often leave out ‘Turron’, a type of nougat, and a glass of brandy or sherry for Papa Noel.

🇲🇽 Mexico 🇲🇽

Children leave out a traditional sweet bread known as ‘Rosca de Reyes’ along with hot chocolate for Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men.

🇬🇷 Greece 🇬🇷

Children leave out ‘Kourabiedes’, an almond shortbread cookie, and a glass of ouzo for Agios Vasilis (Saint Basil, a similar jolly old man to the big red guy).

Whatever you end up leaving out for Santa Claus, I’m sure he’ll enjoy it. And at least we know he won’t get bored of eating cookies and drinking milk all night long.

The Truth or Poop Book Series