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Santa Treat Ideas

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We’re just days out from Christmas – I hope you are ready to go!  Leaving a tasty treat for Santa and his reindeer is a tried and true Christmas tradition. Jolly St. Nick has a lot of houses to hit in one night, and after all the hard work he puts in for our families, it’s nice to leave him with a little something-something for his efforts.

If you are not sure what to put out by the tree, or perhaps you are looking for some fresh Santa treat ideas, check out these options below.

The Traditionalist

There’s nothing wrong with sticking with the basics. We all know what Santa and his reindeer have come to expect.

Cookies– There’s no better snack to leave than a plate full of the perfect chocolate chip cookies, or maybe seasonal favorites like ginger snaps or pizzelles. The best part about leaving cookies is that you’ll have the rest of the batch to snack on throughout the holidays.

chocolate chip cookies

Milk– Santa doesn’t play favorites here. Whole, 2%, or skim will do. Just make sure it’s cold.

Carrots– Reindeer need fuel to lug all those gifts around. Typically reindeer snack of wild grass, greens, moss, and mushrooms, but on a special night like Christmas Eve, why not treat them to some tasty raw carrots?

The Recycler

No time to bake a fresh batch of cookies? No one in your family drinks milk? Don’t go out of your way to make something super special for Santa when you have many of these essential treats already.

Leftovers– Cookies are good for a sweet treat, but did you ever wonder when Santa gets time for a real meal? For a more resourceful option, carve an extra slice of ham, scoop another dollop of mashed potatoes, or bundle some green beans for Santa.

Water– Bottled or tap? Santa doesn’t care. He has to stay hydrated if he’s going to keep up with demand. Milk will wash down a plateful of cookies, but a tall glass of water will give him the boost he needs.

Oats or cereal– Wait, you don’t keep your fridge stocked with fresh carrots? (Neither do we.) A simple handful of plain oatmeal or cheerios will be just fine for Rudolph and his buddies.

The Gourmet Chef

Santa only comes one night a year, so if you have the time and resources, why not take that opportunity to really show off your culinary chops? Try these edible upgrades on traditional options. St. Nick will thank you.

Chewy Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies– That’s right. These chewy double chocolate peppermint cookies are so tasty, Santa might be back for seconds (with a few extra presents under his arm.) Just be warned, you’ll end up making a few extra for yourself.

Hot Toddy– It’s cold out there! Warm Santa’s bones with a hot toddy. This traditional adult beverage typically consists of honey, bourbon, water, and lemon. Don’t go too heavy on the bourbon. You don’t want Santa to get flagged.

hot toddy

Sweet potato and carrot bisque– If you are going to splurge for Santa, a simple raw carrot simply won’t do for the reindeer. Spin up a delicious sweet potato and carrot bisque. This recipe even includes cinnamon and sugar croutons.

The Nutritionist

Not everyone lets loose during the holidays. What if St. Nick is watching his figure? Maybe he’s developed a few food intolerances over the years, or perhaps he’s on Paleo? These foodie-friendly options are quick and compliant with most health nut regimens. (Just don’t leave Santa any deer-jerky or venison. I don’t think the reindeer will appreciate seeing that.)

Guacamole– A fresh batch of guac is surprisingly simple to make. Try this guacamole recipe, served with some cucumber slices, some festive red or green pepper, or lettuce wraps for a delicious healthy snack.


Almond or Coconut Milk– Santa might actually appreciate this vegan and paleo alternative to dairy milk. Couple a tall glass with some gluten-free cookies, and Santa may not even taste the difference.

Roasted Kale, Carrots, and Apple Salad– Saute a bit of green kale, carrots, and apples with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil for a quick and delicious salad that no reindeer could resist.

These tasty treat ideas are a great start. Don’t hesitate to get creative as you develop your own Christmas traditions. Whatever you choose, be safe, have fun, and don’t forget to leave a few crumbs (just as evidence that Santa surely stopped by.)

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