Friday, December 07, 2012

Dec. 7: Christmas Candy Cane

Christmas Candy Canes

A Christmas Candy Cane with a BowThe Christmas Candy Cane originated in Germany about 250 years ago. They started as straight white sugar sticks.
A story says that a choirmaster was worried about the children sitting quietly all through the long Christmas nativity service. So he gave them something to eat to keep them quiet! As he wanted to remind them of Christmas, he made them into a 'J' shape like a shepherds crook, to remind them of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus at the first christmas.
Sometime around 1900 the red stripes were added and they were flavored with peppermint or wintergreen.
Sometimes other Christian meanings are giving to the parts of the canes. The 'J' can also mean Jesus. The white of the cane can represent the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the blood he shed when he died on the cross. The peppermint flavor can represent the hyssop plant that was used for purifying in the Bible.
Around 1920, Bob McCormack, from Georgia, USA, started making canes for his friends and family. They became more and more popular and he started his own business called Bob's Candies. This is where many of our candy canes come from today. In 2005, Bob's Candies was bought by Farley and Sathers but they still make candy canes!

When my grandmother was still alive, I would send her some Candycanes every Christmas because for some reason even though they apparently originated in Germany, they are hard to find there. Go figure. She was always very happy and appreciative of this little reminder from her childhood.

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