Once upon a time, long before X-mas took out Christ, there lived a Candy Maker who loved God very much. It just so happened that this candy maker was tasked with creating something incredibly special; a small but sweet, and inexpensive gift that anyone could present to their loved ones on Christmas morning. So, the Candy Maker came up with an idea, to create a candy that represented what Christmas was truly about…Christ. Thus, the Candy Cane was born. But, that is, exactly, what our story tells. This is where our story begins…
Just 2 months before Christmas and all the town, looked to this man, his name now unknown, to make a special treat for everyone. This man was old and often tired so, but he had something special in his heart…God. After being tasked with making a treat for Christmas, he started, one night, by choosing the flavor and decided it should taste of hyssop. Little fact is that hyssop comes from the mint family and is remarkably similar to peppermint; thus, to mimic the flavor of hyssop, that is exactly what he used, peppermint. Why Hyssop? Hyssop was used for purification and sacrifice in the times of the Old Testament, which is what we strive for in life, that we may earn a place in heaven. The rest did not come easy. He just had to get everything right.
Over the course of weeks, his idea grew. “It should be made of hard candy, because Christ is our rock,” he thought, “…and, it should be red and white, to represent God’s purity and sacrifice.” This made him think of the immense love God has for us, that he would send his only son to suffer and die for us, that we may be forgiven for our sins and find ourselves in the kingdom of heaven. That is when he came up with the idea to shape the candy into a J, which was perfect. Not only did the J represent Jesus by name, but if one turned it around, they would find the symbol of the Shepherd, the staff. This represents Christ as our Shepherd, leading us home and watching over us (that we do not wander and become lost). It also tells us that we are his sheep, and together, his flock (that we may follow Christ as we were meant to).
As he began to draw up the design for this candy that would make history, he felt that representing the sacrifice of blood with red, just wasn’t enough. “Something is not right.” Thought the Candy Maker. “Only a few weeks ‘til Christmas and I haven’t made the perfect candy gift.” At that time, the man had but a candy cane draped in white, and dipped partially in red. Another week passed and he could not perfect his design. With only 2 weeks to Christmas, and still needing time to make hundreds of these treats, he decided he needed help. Before bed that night, he asked God for guidance. He prayed that his design would take shape as God willed it. God answered him in a dream.
Darkness. A white light, so bright and true, filled the surrounding space. From the distance, a baby comes into focus, a baby in a bed of straw, with a laughter that radiated peace and warmth. Suddenly, a violent wave of blood swirled around the baby and consumed him. When the blood cleared, only a man stood. A man with a thorn crown, nails through his hands and feet, and marks from lashes and thorns all over him. With tears in his face and dripping of red, he smiled and said, “Let these scars show you the way.”
It was still dark when the Candy Maker awoke from this dream. Nevertheless, he began to draw a new design. One with swirls and stripes. Thick ones, to represent the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins (that we may be forgiven for ours). Thin ones, to represent the suffering he went through before being nailed to the cross. They were to look like lashes and lacerations, the scars left behind when Jesus was arrested and tortured. Now, the candy could remind us of all of the sacrifices God and his son made to ensure our souls could live an eternity in heaven (that we may always know the love God has for us).
The next two weeks were spent working long and hard to make enough Candy Canes for everyone in town. The finishing touch, to wrap them in a clear wrapper, so that everyone could see the true reason for Christmas when a Candy Cane is presented. The rest is history, but it doesn’t end there. For, you see, every time a Candy Cane is shared, so is the meaning of Christmas, the story of Christ, and the love of God and Jesus. Is it a wonder that love takes two and when one brings two Candy Canes together, they form a heart? That’s, also, because when two people exchange Candy Canes, they are exchanging their love for each and sharing a piece of their heart.
And they shared happily ever after…with no end!