Leading up to Christmas I thought I would do several Blogs on some Christmas traditions, such as were they came from and the meaning behind them. I know some people have problems with some of the Christmas traditions because they say they have pagan roots. This may be true in some cases, but my understanding is; if the tradition now points you to Christ and the old pagan roots are forgotten and if we can glorify God and Christ with it, then we have done our job as Christians.
My favorite tradition is the Candy Cane. This was started by a candy maker in Indiana. (No, it is not my favorite tradition just because it came from the same state I am from) He wanted a piece of candy that he could use to tell kids about Christ. He started with a pure white piece of mint candy. This was to represent Christ’s sinless nature. Then he took it and originally made it into a “J” shape which was to stand for “J” for Jesus. Unfortunately, he found out that most people turned them up side down and ate the curve first. So he changed the idea of the shape so that it was the cane or Shepherd’s crook that the Shepherds brought with them when they went and visited Jesus birth. Then, he added a big bold red stripe that wrapped around the cane to represent Christ’s blood that was spilt on the cross. He also added three small stripes to represent the whipping Jesus received for us.
With the Candy Cane you can lead someone to Christ. You start with the shape as a cane and explain to them that it represents that at Christ’s birth the shepherds came to praise God. Then you take them to the small stripes and explain that Christ was whipped for our sins then put on the cross and died by pointing out the lager red stripe. Then have them suck on one end for a while and they will the notice that the stripes are gone where they sucked on it and you can explain that by dying on the cross He washed away our sins and has made us pure, or as the verse says, as white as snow.
Like I said earlier, this is a perfect example of taking something ordinary and using it to point others to Christ.