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December 23, 2009

The Candy Cane Story

Christmas candy canes are as familiar during the holidays as images of Santa Claus and the baby Jesus. But how did they come to be such a popular holiday treat? The history of the candy cane can be traced back to Germany. In 1670, the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral bent straight white candy sticks into the now-familiar “J” shape to represent a shepherd’s staff and gave them to children in the choir to keep them happy during long Christmas services. The idea worked well, and the custom soon spread throughout Europe.
Candy canes didn’t come to the United States until much later, and then they were no longer just for keeping children quiet during holiday church services. August Imgard, a German immigrant, is credited as the first person to decorate his Christmas tree with candy canes in 1847.
At this time, candy canes were still all-white, just as they had been when the German choirmaster first started giving them out. The now-familiar red-and-white striped ones didn’t appear until much later, around the year 1900. No historical records exist to explain why the stripes were added, or who added them, but modern candy cane poems now credit an unnamed candymaker with adding red stripes to represent Jesus’ blood. All that is really known is that after 1900, striped candy canes became commonplace and they’ve kept their appearance since then.
Around the same time, candy makers started adding peppermint to their candy canes, and this soon became the norm. Now candy canes can be found in all sizes and flavors, from green apple to chocolate, but the familiar red and white peppermint variety are still the most popular.
This is the story of the Candy Cane, I found several versions of it, so if the one you know is different please post it...
Long ago a candy maker wanted to make a candy to witness to people about the love of Christ. So he incorpated various symbols for the Birth, Ministry, and Death of Jesus Christ.
First he used a pure white stick of hard candy, white to symbolize perfection and the sinless nature that Christ was born with from the virgin birth. He wanted a hard candy to symbolize the hard solid foundation of the Church and firm promises of God's Love. The Candy Maker wanted to use a J to symbolize the name of Jesus, the name above all names. The one who came as a shepard of men so the J could also be seen as the staff of God's righteousness, since also Christ came to led all people who like sheep had gone astray back to the fold of God.
Noticing his Candy had a plain sort of look he decided to stain the candy red, first he used three small stripes to be a reminder of the souring that the Lord took for us all, knowing that it is only by his stripes that we are healed. the larger red stripe was to symbolize the blood that Christ shed on the cross for all of mankind so all he beleive and call on his name could have ever lasting life.
Something along the way and over the course of time went terrible wrong the this master candysmiths creation became know as the "Candy Cane"- a meaningless decoration seen at the hoilday time as just another tree ornment.
The meaning is still there however For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. I Pray and ask that you pray as well that these powerful symbols will once again be used to witness to a lost, hurt, and dying world. Share with Children especially the power of God's Love!

Remember the best gift is the give.

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