Santa Claus is one enchanted dude. In one night, he is able to leave gifts at homes across the globe, and all he expects in return is a little snack from every household he visits. Sounds like a fair trade to us.
If, like Mrs. Claus, you’re worried about his blood-glucose levels from snacking on all those cookies, don’t stress: children from all over the world feed him a variety of tasty treats. Here are ten sure to keep him warm and replete on his long voyage.
1. England Mince Pies and Sherry
Thankfully Santa starts off his trek with some actual food. Appropriately combining sweet fruits and spices with savory minced meat, mince pies are a hearty British classic that should fill his jolly belly while the snifter of sherry is the reason his nose gets so red.
2. Ireland Christmas Pudding or Mince Pie + Guinness
Much like the Brits, Irish lads and lasses leave a savory treat out for Santa, but they might also leave a Christmas pudding filled with molasses, raisins, and spices. What’s essential, however, is a thick-headed glass of Guinness to make sure he remains right and ripped as he traverses the Atlantic.
3. Argentina Hay and Water
Thank god someone finally thought about Santa’s nine malnourished reindeer. When he stops into this South American country, Dasher through Blitzen can all enjoy their fill of hay and water. How do you think Rudolph’s nose remains so bright?
4. Chile Pan de Pascua
Say what you want about fruitcake, but Santa Claus (Viejo Pascuero as he’s called in Chile) is crazy for this sweet bread containing candied ginger and dried fruits. It’s also flavored with rum so he can keep his buzz going throughout the Americas.
5. The United States Cookies and Milk
Yes, we in the States serve Santa a sobering combination of milk and cookies every Christmas night, even though we know he has a weight problem. But we’re just as codependent when it comes to getting those presents under the tree.
6. Japan Kentucky Fried Chicken
While Christmas isn’t as big of a deal in Japan, they have picked up on the commercial aspect of the holiday.
KFC, in particular, is now thought of as the go-to spot for a romantic Christmas meal destination thanks to an incredibly effective advertising campaign that began in 1974.
So, if Santa Claus wants to impress Mrs. Claus with some Extra Crispy, he’ll have to wait hours in line like everyone else.
7. Sweden Coffee
Another yuletide necessity as Tomte—the Scandanavian spirit of winter associated with Christmas—reaches the home stretch. A little coffee from the children of Sweden should give him a fresh jolt of jolliness.
8. Denmark Risengrød
Danish Santa Claus might be just as jolly, but his elves (nisser) are known to cause a ruckus. If you don’t leave out a bowl of risengrød (Christmas rice pudding) filled with butter, sugar, cinnamon and fruit, they’re known to cause mischief.
9. France Carrots and Biscuits
While in France, Père Noël munches on some tasty biscuits as his ultimate snack, while his reindeer refuel on carrots. Children leave the carrots in their shoes, which Ol’ Pierre then fills with toys and sweets to thank them for being so helpful to his traveling companions.
No word on what the reindeer think of this practice.
10. Australia Beer
Santa has to stop at quite a few islands in the middle of the Pacific, so kids from Down Under reward him with a beer at each and every stop. Santa: Australian for “tanked.”