You see them everywhere. They are in the stores, used as window displays, yard decorations, Christmas tree ornaments and even as candy. The traditional candy cane is red and white with plenty of holiday cheer added to the mix. Of all its uses, the candy cane is most popularly known as great tasting candy made in a variety of sizes. But, what lead to its creation? How was the candy cane invented?
For those who don’t know, the legend of the candy cane is just as magical as any holiday tradition can be. For those who already know its meaning, the story is timeless and never seems to grow old.
According to history, a candymaker hoped to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ. He decided to use a hard candy that is shaped as we all know the candy cane to be today. The reason is because the shape of the candy cane, which is a ‘J,’ is for Jesus. Turned upside down, it also resembles a shepherd’s staff. The candymaker designed the candy cane white so that it would represent the purity of Christ. He then chose to add a red stripe, which symbolizes the blood that Christ shed for the sins of the world. The traditional flavor of a candy cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop that was used for purification and sacrifice according to the Old Testament.
Today, people all around the world recognize the candy cane as a traditional Christmas symbol. In order to preserve the true meaning of the holidays, some parents may decide to have a candy cane ornament engraved with their child’s name. Given at a young age, the candy cane bearing a child’s name will remain a prized symbol of tradition as that child grows into an adult. Speaking of holiday traditions, children will grow up to pass the same special gifts onto their own children.
Speaking of giving, one of the most popular uses of candy canes is gift-giving. Children often receive them at school and adults often fill candy tins with these striped symbols as a way to share in the spirit of the candy cane and the holidays. For those who live in an area where Santa Claus appears each year to visit with children and pose for photos at the local mall, it’s customary that he or one of his elves present a child with a candy cane. Today, a number of candy manufacturers produce candy canes and distribute them throughout practically every retailer in celebration of Christmas.
Not everyone realizes the rich history that a candy cane brings to the Christmas holiday. It’s much more than just a yard decoration, a sweet tasting candy or a pretty window seal. In fact, it’s a great deal more than any of those things. The legend of the candy cane dates back to a time that none of us were present for but, yet, all of these years later can still celebrate its true meaning and importance that coincides with the wonderful holiday of Christmas.