MMM...Candy Cane...minty, sugary goodness. These candies are a must for Christmas. Mom uses them for our tree, she used them when we were teething as babies to make our gums numb. Senor Smarty Pants eats them like its his job! He loves to make them sharp...extremely sharp. I like to then act like I want a lick and then break it off. Its for his own safety. :) And it annoys him. :) 
So were did this sugary goodness come from? What a fine question you pose! I did a little research...ready to learn?! I thought so! 
The tradition of having Christmas Trees started in Europe in the 17th century. The decorations were food items, including cookies and candy. The predecessor of the modern candy cane came around at this time and it was a straight, white stick of sugar candy. One tradition was a pageant at the Colonge Cathedral. In about 1670 the choirmaster there had sticks of candy bent into the shape of a shepherd’s crook and passed them out to the children. It became popular and the tradition lived on. 
Candy canes on Christmas trees made its way to America by the 1800s, they were still pure white. Christmas cards depicted the candy as white until around 1900, and no one is really sure who put the red stripes on it. But they stuck! 
The elements of the candy cane can be given much religious meaning. It is shaped like the letter “J” in Jesus’ name. It is also the shape of the shepherds’ crook, symbolic of how Jesus, like the “Good Shepherd” watches over us, his children like lambs. The candy is hard like a “rock” , the foundation of the Church. The flavor also has interesting symbolism. The peppermint is similar to another member of the mint family, hyssop. In the Old Testament, hyssop was used for purification and sacrifice, and this said to symbolize the purity of Jesus and the sacrifice he made. The white can easily be seen as purity as well, and the red can be seen as the blood shed for us. Candy canes have three stripes representing the trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 
So there ya have it! Your holiday history lesson for the day! 
Enjoy a Candy Cane!

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