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Wed Dec 13, 2017, 09:28 AM

FSogol's Advent Calendar Day 13: Creation Myths of the Candy Cane

The origin of these popular Christmas treats is murky. A typical story goes:

A story says that a choirmaster, in 1670, was worried about the children sitting quietly all through the long Christmas nativity service. So he gave them something to eat to keep them quiet! As he wanted to remind them of Christmas, he made them into a 'J' shape like a shepherds crook, to remind them of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus at the first christmas. However, the earliest records of 'candy canes' comes from over 200 years later, so the story, although rather nice, probably isn't true!


or

A candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols from the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the “Good Shepherd” with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with 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 have the promise of eternal life.


The candy existed, originally as a white stick, for a long time and became popular in the 1920s when Bob McCormack (Bob's Candies which later became Farley and Sathers) started making them with the bend. However,

22% of the candy canes produced by Bob and his crew were ending up in the trash, because they broke during the bending process. (Catholic Priest Father Gregory Harding Keller) Keller’s machine automated this process and shortly thereafter was perfected by Dick Driskell and Jimmy Spratling, both of which worked for Bob McCormack. This made it so the candy canes came out perfect nearly every time.

So while it’s unlikely Christians invented the candy cane, but they might have perfected it.




Sources

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/candycanes.shtml
https://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/candycane.asp
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/we-dont-know-the-origins-of-the-candy-cane-but-they-almost-certainly-were-not-christian-157380385/#HSX4qIv1h243J5Dl.99

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