Food traditions come with every holiday but Christmas has its own special treats.
Animal Crackers Were Originally a Christmas Treat – Animal crackers were first introduced aro0und Christmastime in 1902. the string on the ox was originally intended to be used to hang the boxes on Christmas trees.
Candy Canes may Have Been Invented t Keep Kids Quite – Even though its probably false legend has it that candy canes were invented in 1670 when the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral commissioned candies shaped like a shepherd’s crook, so they could be handed out to the children attending the church’s creche scene in order to keep them quiet. The stripes came later.
Fruitcake Was Intended to Last a Year – If you’ve ever received a fruitcake as a gift, you probably know that they can last for a long time without ever going bad, thanks to the preservative properties of the sugar and the booze they contain. Actually, that’s part of the design: they were originally intended to be baked at the end of the harvest season and saved to be eaten at the beginning of the harvest season the following year, for good luck.
Turkey Wasn’t the Main Dish in Medieval England – Roasted turkey or another type of poultry is the main protein in a typical British Christmas dinner today, but back in medieval times, the preferred poultry was actually peacock! Boar was also a Christmas mainstay. It wasn’t until Henry Vill had turkey for Christmas in the 16th century that it became the norm.
Christmas Dinner Tu[ically Contains More Than 7,000 Calories – Between the wine mixed nuts, cheese, multiple helpings of turkey and sides pie, and booze – the eating and drinking done during Christmas Day alone can add up to more than 7,000 calories per person, according to one study.
Santa’s Cookies Can Trace Their Origin to Ornaments – A Medieval German tradition involved decorating evergreen trees with cookies, wafers, and fruits on the shortest day of the year as a reminder that green pants would return once the sun god regained his strength. Once Christianity co-opted this tree-decorating tradition for Christmas, celebrants replaced edible ornaments with inedible ones and moved the cookies to a table for Santa to eat.
The Cost of Milk and Cookies Left for Santa Really Adds Up – It’s been estimated that the price of all the milk and cookies left out for Santa around the world amounts to about $189 million annually.
The Yule Log Custom Was Handed Down from the Druids – A tradition of keeping a small portion of the log burned on Christmas to kindle the fire the following winter (to ensure good luck) was passed down from an old Druid custom. Today, more people are familiar with the cake that the Yule log transformed into that than the actual log itself.