A few years ago, my niece and three nephews came from out of town to spend Christmas with us. It was my first year with children around for the holidays since I was a kid myself, so I was positively bursting with excitement for all the holiday traditions we would do together.
We went on a woodland scavenger hunt. We did arts and crafts. We decorated the Christmas tree. The kids all opened presents filled with brand new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. The most fun of all the traditions was the one that the kids seemed to be the most jazzed about: leaving out personalized cookies and milk for Santa.
Now, when I was a kid, we left out a glass of milk and a few store bought cookies. Somewhere along the line, I started also leaving out carrots for the reindeer because they must be pretty hungry as well after all that traveling, right?
The kids have a lot of say in the particulars of the goodies to be left out. The cookies shouldn’t be too sweet, so we should make some oatmeal cookies with not too much sugar. “Those are the healthiest,” they said. Also, the carrots needed to be organic, and the milk needed to be 2%. Who was I to argue? They knew what Santa and the crew needed, so we got busy.
We baked up some healthy oatmeal cookies using this recipe, but we cut out 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of white flour. They turned out great!
We poured a glass of 2% milk and labeled it for Santa.
We cut up some organic carrot sticks and left them for the reindeer with a personalized tag.
All of this was set out in dining room near the Christmas tree so Santa would be sure to see it. Each of the kids wrote a note to Santa and then climbed up to their beds in the brand new Christmas pajamas.
On Christmas morning, they rushed downstairs to the tree and saw the empty jars and glass. Santa had eaten all the cookies, drank all the milk, and fed all of the carrots to the reindeer! I guess the kids were right after all – they sure know what Santa likes. And they had so much fun preparing these treats that we’ll be doing it again every Christmas. The festive holiday tags and labels give the treats to Santa and his reindeer an official air, and there’s enough on each sheet to use for many Christmases to come.
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