Where we come from, it’s custom to leave Santa and his reindeer a snack to eat on Christmas Eve. Before everyone goes to bed, the kids put out some kind of yummy treat for them team delivering all their presents, just to make sure they feel welcome in your home! There are all kinds of theories about what Santa and his reindeer like to eat best, but we enjoy changing it up year to year, most often making the snack together during the day as a family activity.
Just in case you love the idea of leaving Santa, Rudolph, and the others a homemade snack on Christmas Eve just as much as we do, if not more, here are 15 adorable tutorials, recipes, and ideas that will help you make it extra delicious and unique!
1. DIY reindeer food kit
If your kids are a little older but still believe in the whole tale of Christmas, then they’ll probably be expecting reindeer to eat something along the lines of what other farm-like animals they know eat. That’s why we thought the idea of putting together this oat based “reindeer food” mix like Must Have Mom did here was such a cute idea! We love that they scattered in a few holiday coloured sprinkles, just to keep things imaginative.
2. Reindeer food to sprinkle outside
Maybe your kids would rather mix up the food themselves, rather than just putting oatmeal in a bag, and actually take it out where the reindeer can snack on it, since they know a team of large animals probably won’t be traipsing into your living room while they sleep? Then we have a feeling you might get along a little better with something like this cute mixture of baking supplies outlined on Smart Schoolhouse. Let the kids sprinkle it outside around the porch and the yard! They get to have some magical fun feeding the reindeer and your neighbourhood critters get a little Christmas treat.
3. Reindeer food bar
Maybe you’d rather make an entire activity out of making reindeer food for your kids and the children of your guests while you have company over before everyone sleeps on Christmas Eve? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how It’s a Mom’s World set up a funny little reindeer bar, featuring all kind of deliciously sweet ingredients. Let each child put a scoop of which treat they think Santa’s reindeer will eat into a jar and leave the jar for Santa to take with him after he’s had his milk and cookies.
4. Shareable reindeer food in a DIY reindeer cup
In our house, no kind of cooking or baking happens without the kids happily snacking along on whatever we’re making as we go. That’s why we loved this idea from The 36th Avenue for making “reindeer food” that’s actually a delicious snack for humans too! It’s similar to puppy chow and it’s great for sharing with guests. Leave some out in a bowl for the reindeer before the kids go to sleep!
5. Reindeer food burlap sacks
Maybe you’d rather give out some reindeer food to your guests like party favours so they can scatter it around their yards too? We love the idea of sharing the fun, so we were huge fans of this adorable burlap reindeer idea outlined step by step on Crafts Unleashed! They’re simple to make, fill, and fasten and your kids can help you out easily even if they’re small.
6. Peanut butter celery reindeer snacks
Have you been trying desperately to keep the kids eating at least a little bit healthy amidst this season of sweets and treats? Then maybe you can use the fact that actual reindeer really do eat quite healthy things to your advantage! Have the kids help you make these cute little celery reindeer from Fork & Beans and be sure to do enough that they can snack on them and you can leave a couple for Santa and the team.
7. Dried cereal and berries reindeer snacks
Here’s another super fun reindeer foot kit option for you to try, but this time it’s a human snack and it’s healthy, making it kind of the best combination out there! Kix Cereal suggests making the mixture from bit sized cereal pieces and dried berries, which actually makes for quite a delicious treat later on in the night after dinner and dessert. You can give this one out like favours too!
8. Healthy reindeer loaf
Have your kids actually always loved helping you bake whenever you make food based things together? Then here’s another unique opportunity to make something delicious and a little on the healthier side! This lovely reindeer loaf outlined on Julie Hoag Writer is great because it’s made from things reindeer actually eat but it’s good enough that you can leave slices for Santa too.
9. Classic milk and cookies for Santa
Have you actually been so overworked and overwhelmed this holiday season, between all the different work and social obligations, that you’re worried you simply won’t have time to get that creative with your Christmas Eve snacks this year? Then remember there’s absolutely nothing wrong with classic old milk and cookies! Springfield is here to show you how to make a deliciously traditional chocolate chip cookie that will make your mouth water before they’re even out of the oven.
10. DIY mug and plate for whatever you want to leave
Perhaps you actually have a bit of extra crafting time on your hands and you’d like to get really creative with not just the snack but the whole setup that you leave for Santa on Christmas Eve? In that case, regardless of what you decided to leave him to eat, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Cooking Light used paint markers to personalize a plate and mug specifically for Santa’s snack, complete with a little message of love from the family.
11. Peppermint hot chocolate and a cookie
What if your kids are worried about how hard Santa has been working and they want to leave him something extra delicious with his cookie instead of just a plain old glass of milk like any morning of their year? Then maybe something tasty and decadent like this fantastic peppermint hot chocolate outlined on MTN Laurel would be a little more up their alley!
12. Cookies for Santa DIY plate
Just in case you loved the idea of customizing a plate but you’re not feeling quite confident enough in your own hand painting, drawing, or lettering skills to recreate the one we showed you above, here’s an alternative tutorial from Debbie Doo’s that will show you how to make it happen with a stencil! We love their idea of icing and sprinkling their cookies too.
13. Chalkboard and log section Santa plate
If you’re going to leave a plate with a greeting or note on it for Santa to find, would you rather make it one that your kids can add their own custom touch to each year? In that case, particularly if you love rustic themed things, we think you might love the way Homemade Modern created a lovely wooden section plate covered in food safe chalkboard paint where your kids can leave a quick hello before they place the cookies down for Santa’s snack.
14. Cranberry sugar cookies
If you’re going to go to the trouble of homemaking a whole batch of cookies for one man to eat on one night, would you rather make a kind that are particularly holiday flavoured and that the rest of you can enjoy eating before, on, and after Christmas Eve? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how The London Free Press made these fragrant cranberry sugar cookies that we can verify are basically irresistible.
15. Candied bacon chocolate chip cookies
Maybe cookies are definitely the way your kids want to go this year and they’re pretty interested in keeping things to the classic chocolate chip idea but you’re all also wondering whether it might be fun to put an unconventional spin on things? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how 4 The Love of Food made their cookies trendy and also hard to put down by adding- yes, you read that right- candied bacon to the mix!
Do you and your kids leave another kind of homemade snack or fun DIY setup for Santa and his reindeer every Christmas eve, but you don’t see your tradition on our list? Tell us all about what you leave and how you make it happen or link us to photos of your work in the comments section!