Folklore states that mince pies are a favourite food of Father Christmas, and that one or two should be left on a plate at the foot of the chimney (along with a small glass of brandy or sherry, and a carrot for the reindeer) as a thank-you for stockings well-filled.
The origin of the word ‘mincemeat’ is often of interest, especially as it does not appear to contain any meat whatsoever. Up to Victorian times, the mince(meat) pie would have actually have been a spiced meat pie with some dried fruit. It has evolved to the point where the only meat in the pie is in the form of suet, an historical throwback.
Centuries ago the mince pie would have been a large dish filled with various meats such as chicken, partridge, pigeon, hare, capon, pheasant, rabbits, ox or lamb tongue, livers of the animals, and mutton meat mixed with fruits, peels and sugar. It was originally known as a Christmas Pye.