The Christmas season is often filled with delicious treats of all kinds-- cookies, cakes, hot cocoa, gingerbread. One of the most popular Christmas candies is the candy cane. Though there are many legends of how the candy cane came to be, there are two that are especially heart warming.
One story of the candy cane is said to have originated in the late 1600s. A choirmaster gave candy canes to children hoping to keep them quiet during the long Nativity service. Candy canes at this time were simple white sticks of candy. In honor of the Christmas story, the choirmaster shaped the candies to resemble a shepherd's staff.
Another story is credited to the 18th century. It is said that in certain areas of Europe at that time, there was a ban on public displays of Christianity. There was a Christian candy maker who wanted to be able to share Jesus with the local children who would not otherwise have an opportunity to see displays of Christianity at Christmas.
Having prayed about what he could do, he had the idea of the candy cane. According to the story, the candymaker had a reason for each design piece of the candy. He chose a shape that would resemble that of a shepherd’s staff as well as a “J” for Jesus. The white represented the purity of Jesus who was sinless, and the red stripes represented the blood of Jesus that was shed for our sins.
Though it is not known whether this story is true, the candy cane is now a wonderful reminder of who Jesus is, and why we celebrate Christmas. Not only that, but each time we share a candy cane, we have the opportunity to share the Gospel with them!