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The Story of the Candy Cane

By Kayla

The thing about holidays is that everyone celebrates them in their own way. Christmas is extra special, because it has so many traditions and parts to celebrating. There’s putting up decorations, buying gifts, singing carols, Christmas pageants, ugly sweater parties, and candlelight church service. There are also the delicious treats that only come around this time of year. The most symbolic of those is the minty, hook-shaped, hard candy known as the candy cane. Here’s what the candy cane means for both Christmas and Christ.

The Shape:

  • When the candy cane is right-side up, it represents the shepherd’s hook. Jesus is the shepherd of his people.
  • When the candy can is upside down, it is the letter J, the first letter in Jesus.

The Colors:

  • White is for the purity of Christ.
  • Red is for the blood shed by Christ for our sins.
  • The three small red stripes represent the Holy Trinity.

The Candy:

  • The hardness symbolizes the firm foundation found in Christ. He is our rock.
  • The sweet peppermint scent reminds us of the spices brought by the Wise Men.

No matter how far it seems we have gotten from the true meaning of Christmas, there are still symbols of Christ throughout all the traditions.

Here is a poem to help you remember:

“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 is 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!”

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626