Christmas and Candy Canes – It’s More Than Just a Fun Candy

As I write this on Wednesday night, I feel myself tensing up as I hear the wind gusting outside. Apparently, we are in for a few days of nasty weather, not nice “nasty” weather like snow, but icky nasty weather like wind. I’d really prefer snow.  Since I’m not going to get that though, Let’s find something to celebrate so I can take my mind off of it!

Update:  It’s morning, I’m ready to go to work after a restless night, but beyond a few branches down in the yard, we got through the night without much mayhem. It sure was loud though! Yikes! I saw on the news we have another long day of wind ahead of us.

I would like to know how dogs know things, even if we haven’t “told” them what was going on. Think about it. When you have to take your dog to the vet, he/she knows and likely hides. When you are trying to be secretive when getting ready for a trip, they know! When you buy them a Christmas present . . . they KNOW! I bought Moose a toy for Christmas yesterday.  I got home and unpacked my bags. There were OTHER gifts in the bags, not just his. Moose completely ignored everything else, but the moment that toy came out of the bag and was set on the table next to all of the other things I got, he started going bonkers! He sat and stared at the toy, looking from it to me and whining! He was begging for that silly toy! I couldn’t help myself.  I gave it to him. Now he just gets his big cookie for Christmas. It was worth it though. He slept with that toy, he’s been carrying it around the house, and even tried to take it outside with him for his morning business. I had to put a stop to that, but it was sweet.  I’m glad he’s happy, but seriously, he is just as difficult to surprise as my hubby is!



Verse of the Day

December 13, 2018

When King Herod had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

Matthew 2:4-6


Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

“The first will be last and the last will be first.” That’s one of Jesus’ favorite sayings. Isn’t interesting that God said it long before he was born. Isn’t interesting that those who knew the Scriptures, but didn’t know Jesus, said it too! Isn’t it interesting that Herod and Jesus lived it thirty years before Jesus would teach it? Isn’t it interesting that the Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper to remember that while Jesus died and shed his blood, on the first day of the week, Sunday, he rose. When it matters most, Jesus and his people will finish first!


History of Christmas Traditions

I love candy canes.  Truth be told, I enjoy them all year long!  We decorate our trees with them, we put them in the stockings that we hang by the chimney, but do we put any thought into where this tradition started? Well, I found out a little bit for us.  The Christmas Candy Cane was born in Germany about 250 ago, but it didn’t start out striped or crooked like we see now.  Their first appearance was a straight, white sticks of sugar.  The way the story goes, a choirmaster in 1670 was concerned about the children sitting quietly through the long Christmas nativity service, so he gave them something to eat that would keep them quiet.  He wanted to remind them of Christmas and the reason they were sitting so quietly, so he made them into a “j” shape, something like the crook on a shepherd’s staff, to remind them of the shepherds that visited the Baby Jesus at the first Christmas.  The earliest written record of actual candy canes isn’t found until over 200 years later, so this story, even though it’s very nice, might not be true.  I actually would like to think that it is, because it is so sweet! (no pun intended) It is said that around 1900 the red stripes were added to the candy sticks and they were flavored with peppermint or wintergreen.  It isn’t mentioned why, but I imagine it was because not only did it taste good, but it was good for fresher smelling breath. I can’t imagine with dental hygiene being what it was back then that everyone had the sweetest smelling breath in the first place.  Not that this sugar was going to help the teeth, but it would help the aroma for sure.  The crook, or J, on the candy came to also represent the J in Jesus, the white represents the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes have come to represent the blood He shed when He died on the cross. The peppermint flavor can represent the hyssop plant that was used for purification in Bible times. I have no idea what hyssop smells like, so I suppose it could be, if it smells minty.  Around 1920, a man by the name of Bob McCormack from Georgia started making canes for his family and friends, and when they became very popular, he started his own business that he called Bob’s Candies.  His brother-in-law, who was a Catholic priest by the name of Gregory Harding Keller, invented a machine that was called the “Keller Machine” that made turning straight candy sticks into curved candy canes automatically.  I’m always amazed by how inventive they were in industrializing these things!  In 2005 Bob’s candies was bought by Farley and Sathers, but they still make candy canes.  



National Guard Birthday – How many times have you heard someone call a member of the National Guard a weekend warrior? I know I have. They are so much more than that though and have been from the beginning. And what was that beginning? The first militia was created on the North American continent when the Massachusetts General Court in Salem issued an order requiring all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 years old to create a standing army for protection. This was on December 13, 1636.  This militia became what is the National Guard.  It was simple – the citizen soldiers could be called upon to fight when they were needed, defending Massachusetts Bay. At the beginning anyway. In today’s world it means answering the call to service from both the states and the nation, going overseas and responding to natural disasters in the assistance the citizens.  They train regularly, usually two days a month, and with longer training annually.  The Guard isn’t always a full-time job, but it does demand commitment and sacrifice.



Violin Day – The violin always looked so complicated to me, but I definitely admire anyone who can play one. If you DO play the violin, then today is the day for you.  Pick up your instrument and make sweet music.  The person I think is SO impressive that I’ve seen on TV is the violinist with the Celtic Women.  Her name is Mariead and has played the fiddle since she was 6 years old.  She was almost born with one in her hand!  The Celtic Women do a Christmas special on PBS every year and I am so impressed every single year by how talented they are!





Food Celebration of the Day

Ice Cream Day – National Ice Cream Day is on the 3rd Sunday in July, but there is also Ice Cream Day today!  Ice Cream isn’t the first thing that comes to mind this time of year, but it isn’t unheard of to have special craving for ice cream any time of the year.  Maybe a peppermint ice cream would be nice!  Though I couldn’t find the origins of this one, I’m guessing that maybe it started with a local event somewhere.  It’s a fun way to enjoy a treat though, so go for it!


I think if we combine ice cream with candy canes, we’d have a lovely food celebration.  If we drizzle it with chocolate, it would be perfect! I may see if there is candy cane ice cream at the store on my way home. Yum! In the meantime, I have to decide if I even need to do much to my hair today, what with the wind blowing and all. Have a great day and keep your feet on the ground!  God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.


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