It's funny to me how candy canes are such staples at Christmas. When I ask my girls what they want for Christmas, one of their first answers is "a candy cane." This surprises me because aren't they just the same as peppermints that we can get year-round?
Truth be told, I love candy canes too. I love them because of the message that can accompany them. I confess, I do not know if the Legend of the Candy Cane is true or not, but it's another way to get the real meaning of Christmas in the heads of our children that are so bombarded with what the world thinks of Christmas. You can bet this little story will be read with each candy cane my girls consume.
Many years ago, a candymaker wanted to make a candy at Christmas time that would serve as a witness to his Christian faith. He wanted to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry and death of Jesus.
He began with a stick of pure white hard candy. The white symbolized the virgin birth and the sinless life of Jesus.
He made the candy hard to symbolize the that Jesus is the solid rock and the foundation of the church. The firmness also represents the promises of God.
The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. He thought it could also represent the staff of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
The candy maker then added red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received, by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could be forgiven and have the promise of eternal life.
The flavor of mint is similar to hyssop. In Old Testament times, hyssop was associated with purification and sacrifice. It was also used at the cross as they gave Jesus a drink of vinegar before He gave up the Ghost.