Conde Nast Digital StudioMaddie Donnelly, Gourmet Live
We all know the drill: Put on your PJs, read "The Night Before Christmas," place a pile of freshly baked cookies on a plate by the tree, along with a glass of cold milk, and then head to bed to count sheep for what feels like forever. Wake up to crumbs, a letter from Santa, and a mountain of shiny presents. It's like the Super Bowl of being a kid.
Santa Claus himself-or rather, the monk St. Nicholas (whose feast day happens to be today)-dates back to 280 A.D. in modern-day Turkey. But how about some of the other traditions? Leaving cookies for our cheerful patron, for example?
Related: Perfect Holiday Pies