Meaning of Christmas Candy Cane

meaning of christmas candy cane

Ever hear the story behind the meaning of Christmas candy canes?

It's a lovely story that can be used to help remind us of our Lord and Savior during the Christmas season.

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Many years ago, a candymaker wanted to make a candy at Christmas time that would serve as a witness to his Christian faith. He wanted to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry and death of Jesus.

He began with a stick of pure white hard candy. The white symbolized the virgin birth and the sinless life of Jesus.

He made the candy hard to symbolize the that Jesus is the solid rock and the foundation of the church. The firmness also represents the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. He thought it could also represent the staff of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

The candy maker then added 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 be forgiven and have the promise of eternal life.

The flavor of mint is similar to hyssop. In Old Testament times, hyssop was associated with purification and sacrifice. It was also used at the cross as they gave Jesus a drink of vinegar before He gave up the Ghost.

I heard about the legend of the candy cane years ago. From what I can discover through research, the "Christian" candy cane meaning is not necessarily accurate.

The original candy cane may NOT have been made by a Christian candy maker specifically to represent the Lord Jesus, as the "legend" suggests. 😉But the maker may certainly have been a Christian, regardless. It's almost impossible to know one way or the other by now.

It's also difficult to discover who really originated the making of the first candy cane. From what I can tell, candy canes first came on the scene in the late 1600's. They were plain white sugar sticks in the early days before the stripes were added.

In spite of the fact that the legend is more like folklore, the candy cane can be used in a beautiful way to represent the love and sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

For years, my husband and I have printed out and distributed little cards with the Christian meaning of Christmas candy canes, attaching a candy cane to each one. They have been enjoyed and appreciated by children and adults alike.

This link is a pdf version of The Legend of the Candy Cane that you can download and print out quite easily. I print and laminate them so they can be used as bookmarks, fridge magnets, etc. 

I hope that will help you if you want to share this story with a group of people during the holiday season. 

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who's sinless and pure!
"J" is for Jesus,
My Lord, that's for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

While I'm at it, here's another little poem relating to the candy cane and Jesus. I thought you might like it, too.

Short and sweet, isn't it?

Okay, back to the Legend of the Candy Cane story. 

Whether or not this tale is the true candy cane meaning, it presents us as believers with a simple opportunity to share a little bit of the Gospel story with those we meet during the Christmas season, while their hearts are often a bit more open and receptive to thinking about and talking about Jesus.

May the Lord bless you as you share your faith in Christ with others!


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