Candy canes are an important and well known part of the holiday season that comes in December and rolls around with the snow and the decorations.
Children of all ages absolutely adore the candy cane. This confection is one of the truest signs that Christmas is just around the corner. The difference with candy canes today is they are appealing to almost everyone, since peppermint is no longer the only flavor they can be found in. With deep red cinnamon, bright pink cherry, white and green spearmint, dark blue berry, and many more varieties, the candy cane is a treat anyone can eat.
Candy canes don’t have to just be for eating, though. Oftentimes we have more of these sweets than we can use during the whole year!
Legend Of The Candy Cane
The legend of the candy cane tells the story of a candy maker from Indiana. He incorporated symbols of Jesus in the cane. The white stands for the virgin birth of Jesus, and his purity. The red stripes recall the blood he shed for us, and his scourging at the pillar. And the candy is made in the form of a letter J for Jesus. Or, depending on what version you read, the shape was supposed to represent a shepherd’s hook. Or the staff of Jesus, who is the shepherd of all Christians.
Another version of the legend of the candy cane states that it was created as a way for persecuted Christians to secretly communicate with each other. In fact, candy canes did not appear until the last part of the seventeenth century, and during that time, Europe was almost all Christian.
The legend of the candy cane has been debunked by snopes.com, as a falsehood. This is a site where you can check almost any myth, and find out whether it is true or false. Snopes.com bases its findings on the inconsistencies of the legend. For example, the candy cane in the myth was created by a man in Indiana, but candy canes existed well before there was an Indiana. And the red stripes were not added to candy canes until the beginning of the twentieth century.
Many Christian publications perpetuate the myth of the legend of the candy cane as if it was the gospel truth, even though many facts contradict the stories that they print.
A third version of the legend of the candy cane says that the candy was used on Christmas trees in churches, where the candy was handed out to children who were good in church.
The possible actual introduction of the bent end of candy canes comes from around the year 1670, when a choirmaster in the Cologne Cathedral pulled candy “canes” off their tree to help keep his young charges quiet during a long celebration.
So there are many stories about how candy canes came to be. Some are mystical, some not so much so. But these are just more stories to tell to the children this time of year. After all, Santa Claus isn’t real, either, and he’s an important part of the non-religious aspect of the holiday.
The legend of the candy cane appears in volumes of Christmas stories published for Christian readers. It’s an enjoyable way to spin a yarn for Christian children, and it doesn’t really hurt anyone, even if the stories facts cannot be verified by any of the existing history of their times. Christmas is a magical season, and this is a magical tale.
Candy Cane Christmas
There are so many possibilities for this simple little curve of hard candy. Use this sweet treat all around your home and office and have “A Candy Cane Christmas”!
Candy canes are decorative on the tree and a sweet treat the kids can enjoy on occasion. However, one box never seems like enough. A second box is purchased and maybe a third. After that, the children see some brightly colored candy canes, instead of the traditional red and white striped confections. They just have to have them.
Thus begins the large accumulation of candy canes that won’t all fit on the tree. In the end, you have no idea where to put them all! Why not make them the theme this holiday season? Have “A Candy Cane Christmas”!
There are so many possibilities with candy canes. Below are some ways you can use the candycane this year which you may have never thought of before:
What is so nice about making your holiday a “Candy Cane Christmas”? For one thing, it is really inexpensive! Candy canes won’t break your holiday budget this year, so you will have more money to spend on important things – like presents! Candy canes are often found in bulk at discount stores and dollar stores, so you can get dozens of these for decorating at a fraction of the price of other ornamental pieces.
No matter how you use your candy canes, making this year a “Candy Cane Christmas” will make everyone’s holiday jolly and bright!
Candy Cane Crafts
Candy canes can be both a decoration and a delicious treat to snack on. The usefulness of candy canes does not end there as there are many different types of candy cane crafts that one can do with the candy.
Candy Cane Reindeer
So, why not use them in craft projects? There are very simple craft projects that you can make with these curved sticks that even the youngest of children can do!
Candy Cane Reindeer craft is a favorite with children. It doesn’t matter how old your child is – this craft will be age-appropriate. Even a two year old, with a bit of help, will have a grand time making their very own reindeer out of a candycane.
What you will need:
• Candy Canes (All red and white or offer a wide variety of colors)
• Hot Glue Gun or White School Glue
• Various Colored Pom-poms
• Brown Pipe Cleaners
• Googly Eyes
• Christmas Colored Ribbon (optional)
• Mini Bell (optional)
Step One: Have the children each pick a candy cane. (If you are offering a wide variety of colors, it is best if you have enough of each color for everyone. When the first child picks their color, depending on the age of your group, the rest may decide that is the color they want, too. It is best to have enough that it is okay when this occurs.)
Step Two: Give each child one long, brown pipe cleaner. Have them wrap it around the crook of the candy cane so that both sides are equal. Twist the pipe cleaner tightly above the top of the cane.
Step Three: Have the children put just a touch of glue under the twisted pipe cleaner.
Step Four: Let the kids bend the pipe cleaner into “antlers”.
Many kids will bend their pipe cleaner once, while others will make elaborate shapes for their antlers. Anything the child does is okay!
Step Five: Have the kids put a dot of glue on a googly eye. Stick to the side of the candy cane, just under the antlers. Do a second eye on the other side of the candy cane. These should be toward the shorter side of the candy cane, not the long stick side.
Step Six: Allow the children to pick out a pom-pom. Have them put a dot of glue on it. (The children can choose any color they like, with black and red being the most common choices. As with the candy canes, make sure you have enough of each color for all the children doing the craft.) Stick the pom-pom at the end of the shorter side of the candy cane for the nose.
Set aside and allow the craft to dry completely. Once dry, you will have your very own candy cane reindeer!
Step Seven: Take a piece of ribbon and tie it behind the antlers. Create a loop of ribbon for hanging the reindeer on your Christmas tree.
Step Eight: Take a piece of ribbon and tie a bow around the reindeer’s neck.
Step Nine: On a piece of ribbon, tie a mini bell around the reindeer’s neck.
Related: Which Christmas Character Are You?
Candy Cane Hearts
Another popular craft off of the list of candy cane crafts is candy cane hearts. Once again, these are easy to make, able to be made by everyone, and not at all time consuming. All that is needed is two candy canes, glue, a ribbon, scissors, and wax paper if using white school glue. A bow and a mini jingle bell can also be used on the craft. Simply put the two candy canes together, facing each other, to create the heart. Attach the two sides with a hot glue gun or white school glue, though if using the latter place the heart on wax paper first and let it dry overnight before cutting off the excess ends. After the heart is dry, cut off one foot of ribbon and tie it at top. Another piece of ribbon can also be added to attach the bell.
How To Make Candy Cane Hearts
This craft is a little more difficult to make, even though it looks quite easy. It wont take much time if you use hot glue, but will require overnight drying time if you use white school glue.
What you will need:
- 2 Candy Canes
- Hot Glue Gun with Glue Sticks or White School Glue
- Red Ribbon
- Wax Paper (if using white school glue)
- Bow or Jingle Bell (optional)
Step One: Have the children pick two candy canes and place them into a heart shape.
Step Two: If using hot glue, have an adult helper glue the two candy canes together. *Skip to step five*
Step Three: If using white school glue, have the children place the heart shape on wax paper and cover the areas where the two canes meet with glue. Repeat covering these two areas with glue several times.
Step Four: If using white school glue, let the heart dry overnight after 6-10 coatings of glue.
Step Five: If using white school glue, cut off excess dry glue from around the candy canes after drying.
Step Six: Have the children cut off one foot of red ribbon. They can tie it around the top of the heart. They can then tie the ends together at the top, creating a loop to hang the heart with.
Step Seven: The kids can then use a smaller piece of ribbon and tie it in a bow at the front or add a jingle bell. (optional)
Candy Cane Candles
Candy cane crafts don’t have to be limited to just pipe cleaners and ribbons, they can also be made with candles. Candy cane candles involve a small, round candle and enough candy canes the same height as the candle to go around the candle as well as ribbon and glue. Glue the candy canes around the candle until the entire area is covered and if it’s wanted, decorate the candle with ribbons and bows.
Candy Cane Mouse
The ever popular candy cane mouse is another one of the many fun candy cane crafts. This takes a little more skill and time to complete, as well as more items to use, however, it can be just as rewarding as the other crafts that have been mentioned so far. White and pink craft foam or felt is needed to help make this craft. Along with these two things, a candy cane of any color, googly eyes, a red or black pom pom for the nose, glue, scissors, a pencil, and the pattern for the ears and the body of the mouse.
Candy cane crafts can be fun for all ages and easy to make, with a few simple items appearing on every list. The entire family can get together to enjoy the making of these candy cane crafts as well as the eventual eating of the candy cane crafts.
Candy Cane Decorations
There is more to candy canes than just enjoying their minty taste. You can decorate your home inside out for the holidays with candy canes. Listed here are some ideas and DIY projects to decorate your home using candy canes, and candy cane shapes and patterns.
Decorating Your Christmas Tree with Candy Canes
We are not talking about a candy cane here or a candy cane there – Decorate your entire tree with this sweet treat this year. Leave the ornaments safely tucked away and go wild with candy canes instead! With white lights, decorating with only red and white striped candy canes will create a simple, gorgeous Christmas tree you will be proud to show off.
With colored lights, use any flavor of candy cane all over your tree! With colors like blue, red, orange, white, green, and white with colored stripes, your tree will take on a festive look no one could resist.
You may need to keep extra canes on hand, as “sticky fingers” might take one or two during the holiday season.
Here are some suggestions:
- This is an easy way to decorate your office tree, as well. Finding decorations in damp, musty back rooms can be a real nightmare. Simply use candy canes this year on your tree at work and watch it shine! If you have children coming in often, they can pick a candy cane off the tree each visit, too!
- Candy canes are a safe decoration! If you have small children in your home or at work, you can hang these with confidence and not worry about broken glass ornaments.
- Make Candy Cane shapes and ornaments and hang them on the tree using colorful ribbons as loops.
Related: The Christmas Quiz
Ideas for Decorating Walls with Candy Canes
Most people decorate with garland and wreaths during the holidays. Add a little pizzazz to these solid green decorations by hanging candy canes on them.
Imagine a room hung with garland around the top of the wall. Now, imagine that same room with garland and candy canes! Hot glue or tape wrapped candy canes or even fake candy canes to store-bought swags and garlands to pep them up.
Similarly, adorn a store-bought plain wreath with assorted or just red and white candy canes and use all over your house – on the front door, on the banister, on the windows, in the yard etc.
Decorating Your Car with Candy Canes
There is no reason you cannot replace that hanging air freshener this holiday season with a candy cane! By tying a pretty red ribbon in it, you will liven up your car with this festive decoration.
Or give your decoration an extra flair by making candy cane shapes and crafts and hanging them in your car.
Oh, and don’t forget to keep a bunch of candy canes tied with a festive ribbon in your glove box for whenever you feel like munching on them.
Candy Cane Centerpiece for Christmas or Holidays
Use candy canes as a center piece or decorative addition anywhere in your home.
All you need is an empty Christmas tin or vase of some sort to make a pretty candy cane centerpiece.
With a large handful of candy canes placed inside, this tin or vase can be put anywhere around the home or office to spruce it up.
Not only will this decoration be the hit of your home or office, but when you use a plastic container to hold the candy canes it will be a safe decoration.
Some boughs of artificial holly add a touch of green to the decoration.
Candy Canes and Candle Display
Much like the candy cane display, the candy cane and candy display looks quite nice in the center of the table.
The base for this decoration is the Candy Cane Display. Add cotton balls to the inside of the vase to give it the “snowy” appearance of wintertime and simply set the candle on top of the displayed canes.
A festive sticker or ribbon will add to the decoration but is optional.
Although you cannot use the candle when displayed this way, you can enjoy its fragrance whenever you walk by.
This decoration cost us about $3 plus the cost of the candy canes.
If the candles with flowers is the simplest decoration, this one is certainly a close second. Everyone loves candy canes, so why not use them as part of your overall holiday décor.
All you have to do for this centerpiece is fill a glass vase (which you are likely to find in your home) with candy canes!
Hang them around the edge, with the long part inside the vase. With most vases, you can actually completely fill the circumference of the top with these mint delights.
You can use any type of candy canes in this display, but we find that the plain old red and white striped canes look the most stunning.
Since we did not pay for the vase, this centerpiece or decoration had the total cost of 2 boxes of candy canes!
Note: You may want to have an extra box lying around, as visitors will surely help themselves to the displayed goodies!
Candy Cane Shapes in a Tray
For another simple table decoration, you can fill a flat tray or plate with fake snow and place created Candy Cane shapes in it.
Shapes for symbols like hearts, hope and peace are very simple to make and bring a festive touch to any side table.
You could even keep pieces of any shape scattered over the tray. For e.g. create several heart shapes out of candy canes and scatter them in the fake snow and keep on display.