photo by Aunt Owwee
Guest blogger Terra Hangen, coauthor of the book, Scrapbook Of Christmas Firsts: Stories To Warm Your Heart And Tips To Simplify Your Holiday, will be providing ideas for us as families to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. You'll find her articles here each Tuesday through Christmas week. I encourage you to buy her heartwarming book through amazon.com, an act which will help support the TGMT ministry.
Telling Christmas stories is a tradition, from the Christmas spider tale to the pickle ornament story or how candy canes came to be. I tell these tales in my book, and will share the candy cane history here. Once you share it with your family, you and your kids will likely never look at a candy cane in a dismissive way again. No, they are not just a sweet and pretty treat; they have a history.
As you trim your Christmas tree with our modern candy canes this year, stop and ponder their story. It began so long ago, in Europe in the 1600s, that straight white candy sticks were a popular treat throughout the year.
In 1670 the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral, in Cologne, Germany, faced an annoying situation. His lovely Christmas music service was always being disrupted by unruly children, making the elaborate and long musical program difficult to hear and embrace. The choirmaster had a creative solution: have unique candy treats made by bending the straight white candy sticks into the shape of a shepherd’s staff, and hand them to the children as they entered the cathedral for Christmas services.
His candy cane invention was wildly successful and quickly spread to churches throughout Europe. The candy cane shaped confections reached America in 1847, thanks to August Imgard, a German immigrant in Wooster, Ohio, who decorated his family’s Christmas tree with the canes. Around 1900 the red stripe and mint flavor were added.
When you see candy canes now, remember the shepherds who watched their flocks by night, holding their canes or shepherd’s crooks as they learned about the miracle in Bethlehem.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'” Luke 2:9-11
Learn abut the meaning of other Christmas traditions by purchasing Terra's book through Amazon. It will make a wonderful holiday reference for your home library.
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