The Candy Cane
Gift of Love
Copyright Armando Roy Chaboya, 2007
At a time when many people are so frustrated with Christmas shopping and preparing for their big Christmas party, somehow we seem to know that something is missing. That something is the Christ in Christmas. I have found that at this time of the year it is so easy and natural to share the Christ of Christmas by simply giving people a gift, a candy cane and asking them if they have ever heard the story of the candy cane.
I usually begin by saying “Early Merry Christmas” (I begin doing so late in November) or “When is the last time someone gave you a candy cane?” Most people respond with “Its been years!” And then I ask them “Have you ever heard the story of the candy cane?” Most people say no. What follows then is a story based in part in fact and part in tradition.
The candy cane began as a straight white stick candy made by priests in France in the 1400’s. In the 1670’s a German choirmaster is credited with adding the traditional crook at the top, some suggesting it represented a shepherd’s staff. Whether the choirmaster had the “Good Shepherd” in mind is conjecture. His use of the candy was to keep children quiet during the singing! With this addition, the candy canes could be hung on Christmas trees, another innovation in Europe during the 1600‘s.
The candy cane that is red striped and peppermint flavored is an American innovation. Who first did so and why is lost in history, but many Christians hold to the following story. I tell the story as follows, perhaps with a few embellishments, but the essential message is the same.
Created years ago by an American candy maker in Indiana, in the 1880’s to combat the “rampant materialism” obscuring the true meaning of Christmas, the candy cane was and remains special. It was a hard candy because Jesus is the “Rock of Ages” who can be relied on and on whom the Church is built. All of his promises are a sure foundation for living.
The candy cane was formed as a shepherd’s staff to remind us that Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” who came to seek and save the lost. Flipped upside down, it forms a “J” the first letter of his name, the name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.
The broad white stripes remind us of his virgin birth of Mary and characterizes his sinless life. The three small stripes illustrate the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and recall that by his stripes we are healed. The one large red stripe portrayed the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross to purchase our salvation by washing away our sins. Forgiveness is now available to all!
Last of all, the candy cane is sweet to the taste to remind us that it is “the goodness of God that leads us to salvation. It also brings to mind that if we would only “taste and see that the Lord is good “ we would be drawn to him! The peppermint flavoring was meant to call to our remembrance that Jesus adds such flavor to life for he came that we “might have life and that abundantly.”
The candy maker said, that as long as people remembered and shared this story with others they would never forget the true meaning of Christmas. Now, neither will you! Merry Christmas!
??????????????= wrong side of forum I guess - unless he maybe made his own candy canes for an visual in order to help you (how nice of him - tis the season).
But anyway nice that you shared this Hairtamer, but just so you know medical questions and things pertaining to tx are really only supposed to be on this side, so I guess that's why you received that first response...but again I could be wrong. Those might be candy canes that he posted and not question marks.
Mike Simon's ?????????????????????????????? means post non-HCV information on the Hepatitis COMMUNITY Forum not here on the Hepatitis SUPPORT Forum.
At Thanksgiving there was a lively exchange about posting only HCV-related topics, questions, treatment, support, etc. on this side of the forum. Happy Thanksgiving greetings, Jokes-of-the-day, Candy Cane (Gift of Love), etc. belong on the Hepatitis Community Forum.
At the risk of being flamed....I'm with Mike Simon on this one, only not as strongly stated.
When I visit this support forum I'm looking for new and relevant information about HCV, treatments, support issues, drugs in the pipeline, how I may be able to help someone newly diagnosed, etc. Personally I don't like to wade through the other stuff to get HCV-related data. There's other sites on the web full of other stuff.
OK guys; flame away. I'm the Grinch Who Stole Christmas; Ate Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with mashed potatoes & gravy; love John Lennon's music but can't stand "Happy Christmas (War is Over)".....
Below is MedHelp's explanation of the intent and use of the Hepatitis forums. Maybe this will help.
The Hepatitis SUPPORT Forum is where you can post your questions about medical issues and research aspects of Hepatitis. It is the place to post information and participate in discussions about research studies and clinical trials related to Hepatitis.
The Hepatitis COMMUNITY Forum is our Patient-to-Patient Hepatitis Community Forum is where you can communicate and share support with other people interested in Hepatitis.
According to most of these sources, a faithful Indiana candymaker developed the treat as a witnessing tool. The candy is hard because God's church is founded on the rock, white because of Jesus's purity (or his virgin birth), peppermint flavored as a reference to cleansing hyssop, and curved to represent a shepherd's staff and/or the letter "J" for Jesus. Accounts vary regarding the red stripes, though they all agree that red stands for Christ's blood. Depending on which story you read, three small stripes might represent the Trinity, or small stripes could mean the stripes by which we're healed, or our small sacrifices in comparison to Christ's ultimate sacrifice (represented by a large stripe). One site even suggested that the green stripe sometimes featured reminds us that Jesus is a gift from God, though why green signifies a gift I don't know.
The motivation for candy cane apologetics can be seen in a quote from one of the sites: "Doesn't it seem strange that something we often see as unimportant and insignificant can be turned into something so vibrant, so important, simply by knowing its origin?" Of course, the same site proclaims that candy canes were originally a code between English Christians in the seventeenth century, when all public religious symbols were banned. That's simply not true, and neither are most of the other stories.
So where did candy canes come from? Tradition holds that in about 1670, the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral was frustrated by fidgety kids at the living Nativity. He had some white, sugar-candy sticks made to keep the youngsters quiet. The sticks were curved like shepherds' staffs in honor of the shepherds at the stable (score one for the apologists). The idea caught on, and candy sticks became common at living Nativities all over Europe.
In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard put candy canes on his Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio. The sweets gained popularity here, too, and around the turn of the century, they assumed their now familiar properties of red stripes and peppermint flavoring. (Though these elements might have been added for symbolic purposes, there's no evidence to confirm that theory.)
In Albany, Georgia, in the 1920s, a candymaker named Bob McCormack made canes as special treats for family and friends, but the confections were difficult to mass-produce. Then, in the 1950s, Bob's brother-in-law Gregory Keller, a Catholic priest, invented a machine to speed up the process. Other members of the McCormack family worked on new packaging to keep the canes from breaking in transit, and Bob's Candies (www.bobscandies.com) became the world's leading candy cane producer.
So yes, the candy cane's origin was Christian. But it was almost certainly not designed to be the tasty theological treatise it's now purported to be. As Barbara "the cane mutiny" Mikkelson posted on the Urban Legends Reference Pages (www.snopes2.com/holidays/xmas/cndycane.htm), "It's charming folklore at best, and though there's nothing wrong with Christians now finding (and celebrating) symbolism where there wasn't any before, there is something wrong with myths being presented as fact." For the sake of history, I have to agree with her.
I never read the intent and use, my mistake. But as you all know with this disease your brain does not fuction normal anymore. I will not post anything not pertaining to Hepatitis in the future. My apologies, please forgive me.
In Jesus, the Reason for the Season,
"Claims made about the candy's religious symbolism have become increasingly widespread as religious leaders have assured their congregations that these mythologies are factual, the press have published these claims as authoritative answers to readers' inquiries about the confection's meaning, and several lavishly illustrated books purport to tell the "true story" of the candy cane's origins. This is charming folklore at best, and though there's nothing wrong with finding (and celebrating) symbolism where there wasn't any before, the story of the candy cane's origins is -- like Santa Claus -- a myth, not a "true story."
Fictional accounts of the candy cane's religious origins are the subject of a number of colorful Christmas volumes, including The Candymaker's Gift: A Legend of the Candy Cane by Helen Haidle (1996), The Candy Cane Story by Joy Merchant Nall and Thomas Nall, Jr. (1996), The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg (1997), and the children's book The "J" Is For Jesus by Alice Joyce Davidson (1998).
What is interesting about this little story, is that I have never met a single Christian who ever doubted that this story was true. Yet I have never met one who bothered to research it before repeating it themselves.
The next time someone tells you this story, say this: "That candymaker in Indiana. What was his name?" No one knows because the story is not true.
Would it be fair to say that as Christians, we believed all things, and thought that it was good to do so?"
I agree with that.
I don't mind little "symbols" if thats what some look to in order to POINT them to the real message behind it which is the Cross not a cane, not a Santa Clause, not a Reindeer, but instead a Jew that hung on a cross to die for the sins of the world.
Hairtamer's thread was nice and brings someones focus to what this season is about, and I agree as to where it should be posted, but it does take some time until new members find these things out.
She now knows. Most of us here have posted things on the wrong side on more than one occasion too.
Oh do you want to try to explain the "wrong" in how a candy cane doesn't represent the "meaning of Christmas for Christians," yet you fail to expound on what a Christians belief system is supposed to be? You should have finished the sermon, Rabbi, then I wouldn't have had to step in.
You sure are relaxed with your Jewish references today. You anti-semitism is peeping through.
You have to shoot your mouth off every chance you get - you cannot stop yourself. I didn't write anything but ?'s and you couldn't help but comment on it. You didn't have to step in. I didn't "try to explain the "wrong" in how a candy cane doesn't represent the "meaning of Christmas for Christians,". I pointed out the the story of the candy cane may be fictional. I hope that possibility doesn't destroy your faith. But, I really wouldn't be surprised one way or the other.
My ONLY point is to keep the Hepatitis Support Forum focused on information pertaining to HCV-related research, tx, issues, support, etc.
The above religious bantering is exactly what I don't come here for. Don't care who started it but please stop, now.
Besides helping myself, I'm also here to answer some of the same questions that I asked this forum four years ago when I was newly diagnosed. At that time some old-timers like DoubleDose, Chevy55, etc. gave their time to me and educated me about how to care for my own HCV.
After one failed treatment, all kinds of HCV-related issues (medical and support) and recently 24 weeks of VX950....I'd like to pay back.
I'd also like to NOT get ground-up in a religious debate or wade through non-HCV information.
You btw are the one who turned this into a sermon by pointing out that the candy cane doesn't represent Christianity, preach it brutha!!
Anti-semitism? Ha! Where? Oh cause I called you "Rabbi?"
Rabbi means "teacher" -that all. And you're always so willing to
"teach" everyone where to post or what to post about or if their
post is wrong,,,,so I called you "Rabbi."
For me as a Christian to say Rabbi is not antisemitic,
Jesus was called Rabbi, so it comes very natural to me.And what?? cause I said
Shalom? I say that alot. I do have Jewish friends (guess that surprises you)
and they got me in the habit of saying Shalom. And I like to say it
And I did agree with the article you posted - what you didn't like is that I pointed to
the cross. But if someone is going to go as far as telling someone that a candy cane
story is a myth as you did and of which I agree,,,,you should have at least pointed to
what Christianity meaning is supposed to be. Thats how you usually 'correct a hepc
study,,,correction first, truth or fact follows. Ooooo the veil that covers the eyes, until
its removed, what can we expect but this.
PS. Don't even ever talk about me jumping into a thread - you always jump in threads
and answer me all the time without me asking your opinion. Talk about "cannot stop yourself,
pleeeeeeze." End of subject. I'm out of this thread. *yawn*
OK. I'm a little confused here. Are Candy Cane's good for your teeth or not, and does one's religious orientation factor in? Second, does anyone know what kind of shelf life you can get out of the little Canes? I've got a big cannister laying around from Holiday's past, but don't want to get my guests sick. I'm going to pass on what side of the board Candy Cane issues belong in, but I still think it is one of the less studied and misunderstood examples of the sweet tooth category.
Don’t make me cry, we haven’t even got to the twelve days yet besides, I look forward to Santa’s visit every year and especially this year, candy canes and all. There will be hell to pay for messing with Santa I’m here to tell ya.
You're out of this thread- right! You can't ever shut up and that is patently evident.
tut,tut, tut, now, now, Michael that wasn't nicey- nice. Shame, shame on you. I can shut up whenever I want to and not even say a peep. My paper boy just came to the door and I didn't say a word to him and instead handed him a note saying that a veeeeery nice man on an internet forum whom I highly respect has told me that I should shut up - well not in those words - but close. Right at this very minute I am only using sign language to communicate to my dog and husband too just to prove you wrong. Yup you're wrong, I'm very sorry to have to hand you that news. Its been 10 minutes now since my voice has been released into the atmosphere. What a sad day this is.
And Jim, don't take the chance of eating the candy canes they might not be good anymore. Give them to Michael. Wrap them too. We need to show kindness.
jmjm------------As long as we're on this topic, any thoughts on Cane and Able? ----------------------------
Your one liners kill me!
In the spirit of Christmas, whatever religion, stop arguing! Your getting coal this year!
While on tx, I have days of loving serious, medical reading, debates, and days of needing simple, make me laugh reading. All on here. In fairness tho, MANY threads on this side start 'medical info.' and end in a whole other part of the world, conversation and subject matter.
geterdone.........Don’t make me cry, we haven’t even got to the twelve days yet besides, I look forward to Santa’s visit every year and especially this year, candy canes and all. There will be hell to pay for messing with Santa I’m here to tell ya. -----------------------------------
Thats why I'm being 'good' here :}
Happy Holidays kids :}
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