Informant: “In our family, we always used to set out cookies and milk for Santa, and the idea was that Santa would come down the chimney and set up presents, and then he would take a bite out of the cookies and leave. Of course, it was always just the parents taking a bite out of the cookies to make it look like Santa was there, but my kids always thought it was just the coolest thing. I remember that my family did this when I was a kid, and [my husband’s] family did the same thing as well, so we decided to to it for our kids as well to sort of keep the tradition going.”
Collector: Was the type of cookie important?
Informant: “Not really. Mostly we would put out sugar cookies, but they didn’t have to be a specific type. Although we would put out soy milk instead, but we told the kids that Santa didn’t mind”
Informant is a middle aged mother of three who lives in the suburbs in the Midwestern United States. She identifies as of “American” heritage, which she bases on her admission that she never particularly looked into her family’s European heritage.
Collector Analysis: This is an interesting variation on an already well known folklore piece involving putting out food for Santa Claus on Christmas. This informant’s immediate family are all vegans, and as of such don’t consume any animal products including milk. It is interesting to see how this particular tradition adapts to fit the family that performs it, in this case, the replacement of normal milk with soy milk. This shows the adaptability of this particular folk tradition.