Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Christmas Traditions - The Candy Cane

                                                                                  There is a sweet story that has circulated for a number of years regarding the candy cane and how it came to be a part of the Christmas tradition, but that story is simply, well, a story.

In an effort to make the candy cane more symbolic of the season, rumors say that the hook in the cane is a shepherd’s crook (or a J for Jesus, if you turn it upside down), that the stripes are for purity and the blood of Christ, and that the flavor is a nod to the hyssop plant for purification.

These symbolic goodies were all added well after the fact that the candy cane had become steeped in our Christmas traditions.

The truth is that the candy cane as we know it started
as a sugar stick in 1837 in Massachusetts. It was a simple white stick and several years later, the red stripes were added.

They were first introduced during the Christmas season in 1874, and they did not gain their peppermint flavor until later. They also got their crook much later.
Bob’s Candies (now known as Bobs Candies where those awesome soft, peppermint candies come from) was the first to produce the candy canes we know today.

In 1920, Bob started making peppermint sticks, and his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest, invented a little device (the Keller Machine) that put a hook on the end of the candy. Those were the first candy canes that look like our common candy canes and became a solid part of our Christmas traditions.

The boxes of candy canes that we buy are still made by Bobs Candies, which is now a division of Farley and Sathers, and those wonderful soft peppermints and hookless sticks are a common impulse buy in every Cracker Barrel in the country. I am a fool for those darn things.

While the symbolic story is more interesting, we did come by peppermint candy canes in a much more mundane way. Either way, the candy cane is here to stay and a fun tradition that young and old enjoy.

In addition to stuffing the stockings with wonderful candy canes, here are some more sweet gift ideas that are sure to please.

Beaded macramé bracelet, adjustable clasp

Andrea Designs

Fiesta Red Irish Crochet Heart with Beaded 3D Red Roses

RSS Designs in Fiber 

Blood Red Crystal Earrings

The Singing Beader 

Sacred Heart of Jesus Chaplet Rosary Bracelet


Greeting Card, Wedding Card


Swarovski Red Pearl Crystal Silver Bracelet - Handmade Jewelry

Victorian Style Treasures

Viking Chain Earrings, Hoop Jewelry, Gift for Her


Magic Spell of Christmas - Chair by Fireplace

Colleen Cornelius

Coiled Rope Basket


Christmas Gingerbread Dog Tag Necklace with Polymer Clay in Red and Green

Blue Morning Expressions 

Handmade Large Hole Lampwork Beads

Covergirl Beads

Swarovski Santa Earrings, Christmas Red Handmade Holiday Jewelry Gift

Shadow Dog Designs 

Red and White Superduo Snakeskin Beadwoven Handmade Cuff Bracelet


Candy Cane Christmas Ornament

Kevs Krafts 

In addition to these fantastic gift selections, each of these artists have their own shops filled with more gift ideas, so be sure and stop and shop with each one.

If you see  something you like, buy it now or forever lose it as handmade gifts sell out quickly!

Don’t see the perfect gift? Ask an artist to help you design something.

Shop now!



  1. Thank you, Julie and thank you for including my viking wire earrings. Shared everywhere.

  2. Interesting history behind the candy cane, Julie - something that is always there at Christmas time that most people (me included) probably don't give much thought to. Many thanks for his mid-week promo and for including my Santa earrings. Will share far and wide. And please give your Handsome Hurricane Boy a tasty dog treat from the Desert Moose and me. Thanks, again!

  3. Fun to read about the candy cane. I can almost taste one now! Thanks so much for doing this blog featuring red and white gifts including my earrings. I shared each item on my Christmas Countdown on Pinterest and on The Singing Beader Facebook page.

  4. Julie,

    Love the story about the candy cane. Thank you for including one of my macramé bracelets.

    I shared all the items in Twitter and Pinterest in the board 2019-Countdown to Christmas if anybody would like to pin in it, here is an invitation link


  5. What a great blog article, Julie! Never knew a thing about candy canes - although I've enjoyed many! Thank you for this extra promotion and for including my Sacred Heart chaplet bracelet. Will be tweeting here and there, and will pin everything to my BME Countdown to Christmas pin board. Treats to cutie Harry from cutie Gonze! :)

  6. Thank you Julie for sharing the story of the candy cane. Thanks for the wonderful blog and including my bracelet. Off to share.

  7. What an interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you so much for including our hand beaded card in your collection.
    I just love how the Red pops.

  9. Thank you so much for including our hand beaded card in your collection.
    I just love how the Red pops.

  10. Funny story about Candy Canes, Julie! Thanks for sharing all the Red and White Handmade for the Holidays - including my RSS Designs In Fiber "Fiesta Red Irish Crochet Heart" with White Beads in the 3D Roses!!

  11. I never knew this about candy canes and have never had a soft one. I will have to try this out. Thank you for sharing the story Julie and for including my red/white beaded bracelet. All will be promoted by pinning, twitter and hashtagged.

  12. NOTE: The link for Wyvern Designs white basket is not working. I went to her site and promoted from there.