Yep, it’s Christmas, so it’s that time of year again! Time to be Candy Cane Crusaders for Christ!
Bothered by the fact that businesses were forbidding employees to say, “Merry Christmas,” I decided to make sure that I said, “Merry Christmas” to them. However, just saying “Merry Christmas” wasn’t enough. Remembering the Candy Cane Poem that tells how the candy cane was created to be symbolic of Jesus, I decided to start handing out mini candy canes wherever I went.
Several years and thousands of candy canes later, I’m still handing out candy canes and saying, “Merry Christmas!” Others are doing the same!
Every year I stock up on boxes of mini candy canes, say a prayer that they will bless those who receive them, and then arm myself by filling a quart-size baggie that I keep handy in my purse. I hand candy canes out to those I see throughout my day while saying, “Merry Christmas!”
The first candy canes I gave out this year were to two entertaining little boys while we waited in line. (I discreetly asked the mom if it was ok to give them candy canes before doing so.) Yesterday I gave a candy cane to an older lady who was beside me at a cash register. We were buying Christmas decorations. She’d been very cheerful and seemed to be enjoying the holidays, so as she turned to go, I said, “Excuse me, ma’am. Would you like a candy cane?” I expected a big, cheerful smile, but instead she looked like she might cry. Then she said, “Yes, please. I really needed that. Can I give you a hug?” She gave me a big hug right there at the registers while she thanked me and I said, “Merry Christmas.” Then she smiled again and left with her purchases in tow. When I turned back to the register to pay for my things, I saw that the people around us had been watching. They just looked at me, not saying anything at first. Then someone said, “That was really nice of you. You really made a difference for her.” I gave everyone else candy canes, too. They were delighted!
Who can you give candy canes to? The people who take your order and serve you at restaurants and drive-thru service, and people at registers. When they give you your receipt, you give them a candy cane and say, “Merry Christmas!” Candy canes are great for coffee baristas, the person who bags your groceries, for cheering up cranky children and grumpy grown-ups. They’re also a good reward when you catch kids being good! I give candy canes to friends, strangers, whoever I run into throughout my day.
Often I attach the Candy Cane Poem to the candy canes I give out. The poem is a great way to share the story of Jesus. I’ve prepared thousands of candy canes with the poem for children’s charities and gift baskets for shut-ins. I’ve also filled a large zip-lock bag with them to put in our newspaper box with a sign attached that says, “Help yourself” as a way to offer them to passers-by, the mailman, etc. I also keep a basket of candy canes with the poem by the front door to give to delivery people and anyone who stops by.
Look at the Candy Cane, What do you see?
Stripes that are red, Like the blood shed for me.
White is for my Savior, Who is sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus, my Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around and a staff you will see,
Jesus, the Shepherd, born for you and me!
What do you think? Would you like to be a Candy Cane Crusader for Christ?
If you’d like to use the Candy Cane Poem, just send me an email and I’ll reply with a document that has copies of the poem ready to cut out like small tags.
How are you giving out candy canes? I’d love to hear from you!
CHRISTmas blessings to all!