The Christmas Treat That Over 35% Of People Agree Is The Most Delicious

When Christmas comes, it brings with it two inevitables: over-spending and over-eating. Both are a lot of fun at first, but when the thrill wears off and January rears its dreary head, the former results in enormous credit card bills and the latter brings excess poundage. Every year, it's a coin toss to see which one we can rid ourselves of first: debts or weight gain (either way, it's going to take time).

For now, though, let's put aside all thoughts of pipers to be paid on the installment plan and just enjoy the moment with all of the good things it brings. Christmas magic for both young and old so often comes in through our mouths in the form of special once-a-year-so-what-the-heck treats. We all have our individual or family favorites, but there are a few time-tested classics that nearly everybody likes. Mashed thought it would be fun to be able to rank some of these holiday treats in terms of popularity, but in order to do that, we needed some data with which to work. Enter 656 randomly selected people who were kind enough to stand up and let their vote be tallied. We counted the votes, and then counted again, since you can never be too careful with this kind of thing, When all the results were in, there was one clear winner, standing an about-to-be-bitten-off gingerbread head and shoulders above the rest: Christmas cookies!

Cookies are a clear winner

Yes, everybody loves cookies. We didn't break this category down into different sub-types, at least not here (this was hardly the only seasonal poll we conducted), but cookies in general took an impressive 35.82 percent of the vote, chosen as the top pick by 235 people in all. That number should actually be slightly higher, however — in the category of "Other," three of our "none of the above" votes were actually naming specific types of cookies: the chocolate-topped peanut butter/butterscotch bars known as scotcheroos, the Norwegian waffle cookies called krumkaker, and something called forgotten cookies — The Spruce Eats explains that the "forgotten" part refers to the baking process, as these are actually meringue cookies that bake overnight in the residual heat from an oven that has been preheated and then turned off. That makes it a grand total of 238 cookie votes, which for you math sticklers out there works out to 36.28 percent of all those we surveyed.

The runners-up weren't necessarily all that Christmasy

In second place, with 17.07 percent of the vote was fudge, something that's more often associated with every tourist town everywhere rather than any particular holiday. If there's any occasion we associate with this candy, that would be more likely to be summer vacation, but what the heck, it's good at Christmas, too. Number three was the slightly more Thankgiving-esque pecan pie, with 14.02 percent, and number four, with 13.72 of the vote, was another good any time of year treat, cherry cheesecake. (Nobody doesn't love Sara Lee's... especially right out of the freezer, yum, cherry cheesesicles!)

It was back to the traditional Christmas stuff with the fifth place candy canes. Whether the traditional peppermint kind or one of the newer oddball flavors (clam or ham? decisions, decisions...), this candy earned 9.15 percent of all votes. The sixth place choice was a shocker, however –- who knew that 4.88 percent of respondents (32 people in all) actually enjoy fruitcake? Seriously, somebody ought to create an app where recipients of unwanted fruitcakes could connect with these rare fruitcake lovers and donate their surplus not-so-goodies. In last place was the much-maligned Yule log, aka bûche de Noël. Perhaps these 2.29 percent of respondents thought we meant an actual log? Otherwise, it's hard to imagine that there are twice as many people who'd rather eat a fruit-filled brick than a yummy rolled-up chocolate cake. Life is just weird sometimes.

Some respondents had other ideas

As usual, the really interesting stuff showed up in the comments field where those who answered "other" filled in that blank for us. In addition to those additional cookie votes, we had a number of pie lovers: peach (out of season though it may be), pumpkin, pumpkin again, pumpkin pecan, fudge pecan, chocolate (no pecans), and apple. Oh, and even one vote for mincemeat pie, perhaps cast by a Brit or at least an Anglophile. (Didn't they eat this on Downton Abbey?)

One of our respondents expressed a preference for "expensive chocolate" (cue Eartha Kitt singing "Santa Baby"), while another, a sugar-shunner (or possibly a dairy farmer) asked for cheese, please. Yet another respondent who went for savory over sugary would prefer another helping of stuffing. Peppermint bark got a shout-out, as did baklava, and one generalist opted for "anything sweet." One respondent went in for a different form of sweetness, saying "family time" was their favorite treat of all, but another grinchily pointed out that they "don't eat such unhealthy food." Well, okay, all the more eggnog and spritz cookies for the rest of us, then.