This little Christmas gem comes courtesy of my mom — in the form of a single sheet of printed paper that she shared with one of her friends in a card many, many years ago.
The paper is titled “Candy Cane: A Tribute to Jesus”, and on the back my mom wrote the message: “Found this article in the paper. It’s interesting. Hope you enjoy it. Pass it along to a friend.” The writer of the story was Marjie Smith.
Whether the story in the article is true or not isn’t the point. It’s a lovely tale, and I think that my mom would approve of me sharing it with my readers. After reading it, if you are so inclined, please do, as my mom said, pass it along to a friend.
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Someone has passed on to me the story behind the candy cane.
The apparently anonymously-written story I am going to pass on to the reader in my own words.
As the story goes, an Indiana candymaker wanted to make a candy that would be a witness to his Christian faith. Thus evolved the candy cane.
In the shape and unique spiraled striping lies a composite of symbols representing Jesus’s birth, ministry, and death.
The candymaker chose a stick of hard white candy to symbolize the purity of the virgin birth and the sinlessness of Jesus. The hard material represented the solid rock on which the church was founded, and the firm promises of God.
The candy took the form of a “J” to represent the name of Jesus, who came to earth at Christmas in order to be the Saviour of mankind. It also represents the shepherd’s staff, particularly that of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Himself.
Because the candy was so plain, the candymaker used three small stripes to signify the scourging Jesus suffered before death. The large red stripe represented the blood Jesus shed on the cross so people could have eternal life through faith in Him.
Over the years, the meaning of the candy cane became lost in the celebration of the season. But it is still there, and will endure if we pass it on.