Modern Myth

It must be true. I read it on the web. It gives meaning to Christmas, ties a common object to Christ.

Sorry folks. Sometimes a good story is a good story — an articulation of what might have been. If you start with a finished product and begin looking for symbols you’ll likely find them.

Take this sweet treat, for example. Peppermint candies have been prized by children and adults for generations. Along the way — from one candymaker to another — in an effort to stand out and increase sales. Candy sticks went from plain to wearing red stripes. Then a clever man curved one end.

Candy Canes!!!

This handy shape, combined with red and white seasonal colors made them easy to use as Christmas ornaments. Can they remind a person of shepherds’ crooks? Certainly. Are the colors consistent with Christmas symbolism? Yes. Did a candymaker a century or two ago set out to create a treat to teach the Christmas story? Nope — I suspect the motive behind each step was profit, the ability to stay in business.

So what to do about the story flying through cyberspace and getting printed on paper in cards and letters? Nothing. It’s your choice to pass along or not. I’d just give a reminder. Sometimes a candy cane is a sweet treat, nothing more — nothing less.

Pretty & Sweet
Pretty & Sweet


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