Candy Cane CrazyPosted: December 21, 2009
I have 300 candy canes sitting in my office. And not those lame mini ones either — I’ve got the real deal. In dessert-speak it’s the difference between a Hershey’s Kiss and a Big Block. Why do I have candy canes coming out my ears? Because for the last seven years I’ve given them out to all the kids following the Christmas Eve pageant service.
Well, that’s not entirely true. About six years ago I forgot to get them until 3 hours before the service. You try finding 100 candy canes on Christmas Eve. That year I handed out the traditional Christmas lollipop. Ever since then Bryna has mercifully picked them up for me on one of her post-Thanksgiving Target run. Not for my sake, mind you, but so that I don’t embarrass the boys by handing out Christmas Twizzlers or something.
I actually love candy canes. Not the candy themselves — I don’t particularly care for mint. I like the shape and the story behind them. In church circles they’re often referred to as “Candy Croziers.” A crozier is a bishop’s staff, indicating that he is the chief shepherd of a diocese. Hence the shepherd’s crook shape. There’s even a St. Nicholas Day Blessing of Candy Canes, which perhaps I should use before handing them all out. He was the Bishop of Myra (present-day Turkey) after all.
Legend has it that in 1670 the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany first bent straight candy sticks into hooks and gave them to children as a symbol of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Who knows? But the shape is also quite functional and fits perfectly onto a tree branch as an ornament.
Perhaps the best part of handing out candy canes at the end of the service is that I don’t have to deal with all the kids who turn them into daggers and try to stab their siblings in a display of pre-Christmas Day spirit. Oh, wait, my kids do that as well. Maybe the lollipops weren’t such a bad idea…