Candy canes are iconic Christmas confections. The bright red and white peppermint twist is one of my family’s favorite treats during the holidays. Candy canes are hung in garland, displayed in glass candy dishes, and kept in a mug on the kitchen counter to stir hot cocoa.
Candy canes became popular in our family for a few reasons. One, we all really like peppermint. Two, the candy is so unique. Three, it’s associated with one of the boys’ favorite Christmas books, The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg (Zondervan, 1997). In the story, a stranger rides into a small town, refurbishes a storefront, and opens a special store. One brave young girl, Lucy, offers to assist the stranger unpack the wooden crates. Her wish (and the wish of all the town children) comes true. The new shop is a confectionary. Sonneman’s Candy Store becomes a place of community fellowship and joy. The legend of the candy cane is told, beginning with ” ‘J’ is for Jesus” to draw the town people together in faith.
The story is a treasure. It points to the reason we celebrate Christmas. James Bernardin illustrations are delightful and bring the legend to life.
When my boys were in elementary school, we decided to share the story with friends and neighbors. We wrote a poem based on the book. Then we attached candy canes to Christmas cookie plates, tied on bows, and used the poem as the gift tag to wish everyone a merry Christmas. The boys and I made our way around the neighborhood with our holiday treats and more importantly, the special message of God’s great love.
If you’d like to share the candy cane legend, here are a few suggestions to get the ideas going with your children. You are welcome to use the poem we wrote. Download it HERE.
• Buy copies of The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg for the children in your family Wrap the books in brown paper. Tie with raffia. Attach candy canes and the poem. Click HERE to buy the book.
• Make fudge. Package on Christmas plates with candy canes tied in the bow. Attach the poem.
• Invite the neighborhood children in for story time after an afternoon of sledding. Read the book together. Make cocoa for everyone. Use candy canes as stirring sticks.
• Prepare a homemade gift for family, friends, and neighbors. Use the recipe for hot cocoa and chocolate dipped candy canes found HERE.
• Decorate your home with candy canes. Read The Legend of the Candy Cane for inspiration, encouragement, and faith.
May the anticipation of Advent and the love of this season fill your heart with joy!
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
How will you and you family share the message of Jesus Christ this Christmas?
By Becky Danielson
Wife to Scott
Mom of two
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent Series
Raising Little Kids with Big Love and
Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love
and the Study Guides