The candy cane and the Ten Commandments can teach us the true means of Christmas

The traditional Christmas candy cane was first introduced by a choir director to teach children (and adults) the true meaning of Christmas. Its interpretation has evolved over the centuries but it is still a powerful symbol for “The Reason for the Season.” The following is the traditional explanation for the “J” shaped white candy with red stripes.

The hard candy reminds us that Jesus is our rock. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 18:2)

The cane shape reminds us of a shepherd’s staff and the shepherds that came to worship Jesus. It also reminds us of how Jesus came into the world to be our shepherd. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

The upside-down candy cane forms the letter “J” and reminds us of the name of Jesus that means “God saves.” (Matt 1:21)

The peppermint flavor reminds us of the gift of spices from the Wise Men. “Opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matt 2:11)

The white candy reminds us of purity and holiness. It recalls the virgin birth of Christ, the sinless life of Christ and the holy life that Jesus wants his people to live. “Be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)

The wide band of red reminds us that Jesus became a real flesh and blood human being and spilled his blood to save his people. “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” (1 John 4:2)

The three red stripes remind us of the lashes Jesus received when he suffered for us and ultimately bore our sins that we might be healed. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. . . . By his wounds you have been healed. “1 Peter 2:24-25)

Another interpretation of the three stripes: they stand for the God of Love – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28: 19)

The following are the “Ten Commandments for Christmas” by an unknown author.

  1. You shall not leave “Christ” out of Christmas in spirit or spelling, like “Xmas.” Although in Greek “X” is our “CH,” to most minds “X” stands an algebraic unknown.
  2. You shall not value gifts by their cost, for many will signify a love that is more blessed and beautiful than silver or gold.
  3. You shall give your very self with your gifts. Your love, your personality, and your service will increase the value of your gifts a hundred fold and the recipients will treasure them forever.
  4. You shall not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.
  5. You shall show consideration to the salespersons, the mail carriers, and other Christmas workers.
  6. You shall not neglect your church. The Christmas services highlight the true meaning of the season for you, your family, and your friends.
  7. You shall not neglect the needy. Share your blessings with those who will go hungry and cold and are in need of your generosity.
  8. You shall be like a little child. Jesus said, “I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” (Lk 18:17)
  9. You shall prepare your inner self for Christmas. Don’t spend so much time and money on gifts that you neglect your mortal soul.
  10. You shall give your heart to Christ. Let Jesus be at the top of your Christmas list.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

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