Christmas time on the farm is such a magical time. A time filled with love, family, and friends. A time filled with more food than you can imagine and some pretty neat gifts.
It’s also a time that comes with a lot of pressure to get those perfect gifts, get all those yummy holiday treats made, and attempt to fulfill all the personal obligations that often surround the holidays.
And it’s at that point, when everything is rapidly piling up, that I am once again reminded that we have already received the perfect gift and no other gift could ever come close to comparing.
I see a candy cane and immediately feel at peace.
Do you know the legend of the candy cane?
According to the legend, the candy cane was first created back in the 18th century. At that time, in certain areas of Europe, there was said to be a ban on public displays of Christianity. Christians were oppressed and no Bibles or crosses could be owned at the time. One man found this oppression distressing and wished he could share the love of Jesus and the joy of Christmas with the rest of the world. When Christmas came around, children didn’t get to see nativity scenes or enjoy learning about the truth of Christmas. As a candy maker, this man prayed to find a way that he could offer local children a Christmas gift that would allow him to communicate the real story of Christmas.
His prayer led to an idea — the candy cane.
- The Shepherd’s Staff: He chose to make the candy cane in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. After all, Jesus is the shepherd to his followers and the Bible notes that the “sheep” would hear His voice and follow him.
- The Letter J for Jesus: Not only was the candy cane in the shape of a staff, but when held upside down, it formed a “J,” which stood for Jesus.
- He is A Rock: The candy maker chose hard candy for the candy cane, which was done to remind children that Jesus is our “rock,” dependable and strong.
- By His Stripes: Wide red stripes were added to the candy cane, representative of the crucifixion and the blood Jesus shed for our sins.
- The Color Red-His Blood: Through his blood, we are given salvation and life.
- The Color White-Purification from Sin: There are also white stripes on the candy cane, which represents the holiness, and purity of Jesus, who was sinless.
- Sweet Scent and Flavor: Peppermint was the flavor that the candy maker chose for the candy cane. Peppermint was very similar to hyssop, which was used for sacrifice and purification in the Old Testament, reminding us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It also reminds us of the spices brought by the Wise Men when they came to visit Jesus.
- Broken For Us: Of course, when the candy cane is eaten, it is often broken, which the candy maker meant as a reminder that when Jesus was crucified, his body was broken.
- Love of Christ: The candy cane was also made to be given as a gift, representing the love of Jesus when he gave us the gift of salvation.
And that, my friends, is the best gift anyone could ever receive. Although, no one is quite sure if the legend of the candy cane is true, it serves as a beautiful reminder of what the season is really about — JESUS.
Until next time, happy trails!