Taking a Trip Down Candy Cane Lane
December 26, 2020 – Kayla Thompson, Adult Services Coordinator
Greetings and Happy December! Can you believe we are already here? It has been both the longest and fastest year I feel like I have ever lived! It’s December 2020, but meanwhile, I’m living in March 2020, and in three months it will be March 2021! But, pandemic time just seems to work a little differently than normal, I guess.
Regardless, December 2020 is here and we are plowing along as best we can (get it? Plowing? Snow? It’s okay my family doesn’t find me funny either). Not only is it December, but today is December 26th! It may seem like just another day of the year, but today is actually “National Candy Cane Day”! So, in order to celebrate, I am going to take you all down Candy Cane (memory) lane with me as I visit my favorite things about this time of year and what candy canes represent to me.
First, a little history. According to History.com, legend says that candy canes were created sometime around the 1670s to give to choir boys during the “Living Creche Ceremony”. The candies were bent into the cane shape in order to represent a shepherd’s staff (and to make it okay for the treats to be had during such a sacred ceremony). The sweet treats we know today are stripped but for 200 years (before commercialization and mass production) these curious confections were stark white!
Today, about 1.76 billion candy canes are produced and sold each year with the most popular time for sales being the second week of December! In my opinion, that is absolutely nuts, but I also have no room to talk because it is the second week of December and my family has already purchased almost 6 boxes of candy canes and we will end up buying more before this season rings its final bells.
Candy canes now come in all sorts of sizes, colors, and flavors since they were first brought into creation. You can find flavors such as the traditional peppermint as well as flavors like blueberry, cherry, raspberry, jolly rancher, jelly bean, etc. In this day and age, the choices are just about endless, but for my family, we tend to stick to just two: peppermint and blueberry.
So what do candy canes mean to me and mine? Peppermint candy canes conjure up memories of endless cups of hot chocolate in tall, holiday-themed mugs. Mugs featuring snowmen and reindeer and brightly painted Christmas angels. They bring up long days of decorating cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, and crushing up the canes for other such decorative desserts, as well as long nights camping out in the cold and snow for parades full of lights and joy.
Blueberry candy canes remind me of being six and sitting in front of the television watching Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, Barbie and the Nutcracker, and A White Christmas on just about a constant loop. Mouths and teeth turning smurf blue as we decorate the Christmas tree with Bing Crosby crooning in the background.
Though they are a sweet treat to have during the holidays, candy canes represent more than just pretty spun and stretched sugar. They represent a time of coming together and spending time with one another. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays or even in the same way, but candy canes can be enjoyed by all no matter what joyous occasion you might be celebrating this winter season. So, if you haven’t yet and you find the time, go out and buy a box. They are an easy treat to share with others and spread some holiday cheer!
Below is a list of books and movies the library has that either remind me of my favorite holiday activities or represent some part of the season from my childhood. The create the perfect opportunity to curl up beneath your comfiest blanket, grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate (and maybe a candy cane) and enjoy the season.
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell
One Day in December by Josie Silver
Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke
Snow Day by Bill Coffey
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire
Marley: a Novel by Jon Clinch
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Christmas Cocoa Murder by Carlene O’Connor
The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts
Kissing Christmas Goodbye: an Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton