Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our first day at Church....

Ok so I have been thinking about going to church and getting the kids involved because I don't have a strong faith in one particular religion and I want the kids to know what they believe, whatever that may I've been looking into different religions. So one day little Rick asked me about the shape of a candy cane and I had no idea why it was shaped like I did my homework and this is what I found

Birth of the Candy Cane
Around the seventeenth century, European-Christians began to adopt the use of Christmas trees as part of their Christmas celebrations. They made special decorations for their trees from foods like cookies and sugar-stick candy. The first historical reference to the familiar cane shape goes back to 1670, when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, bent the sugar-sticks into canes to represent a shepherd's staff. The all-white candy canes were given out to children during the long-winded nativity services.
The clergymen's custom of handing out candy canes during Christmas services spread throughout Europe and later to America. The canes were still white, but sometimes the candy-makers would add sugar-roses to decorate the canes further.

The first historical reference to the candy cane being in America goes back to 1847, when a German immigrant called August Imgard decorated the Christmas tree in his Wooster, Ohio home with candy canes.

The Stripes
About fifty years later the first red-and-white striped candy canes appeared. No one knows who exactly invented the stripes, but Christmas cards prior to the year 1900 showed only all-white candy canes. Christmas cards after 1900 showed illustrations of striped candy canes. Around the same time, candy-makers added peppermint and wintergreen flavors to their candy canes and those flavors then became the traditional favorites.

Sweet Secrets of the Candy Cane
There are many other legends and beliefs surrounding the humble candy cane. Many of them depict the candy cane as a secret symbol for Christianity used during the times when Christian were living under more oppressive circumstances. It was said that the cane was shaped like a "J" for Jesus. The red-and-white stripes represented Christ's blood and purity. The three red stripes symbolized the Holy Trinity. The hardness of the candy represented the Church's foundation on solid rock and the peppermint flavor represented the use of hyssop, an herb referred to in the Old Testament. There is no historical evidence to support these claims, quite the contrary, but they are lovely thoughts.

So anyway as I was explaining this to him I talked about Jesus and he didn't know of him and that made me kind of sad so I bought him a children's book with all the stories from the Bible and he likes it...then I talked to him about church and how it is the house of God, and he was very interested in going to today was our first day and I loved it!! We went to a local church that I had wanted to check out for a while because I too want to learn about God...I know very little about the stories of Bible (other than a few Veggi Tales movies) The preist was wonderfully sweet and welcoming and the church was filled with peers for Ricky and Caila...they went to Sunday school with ease. I think that this will be a great family routine that we can all enjoy...So I'd like to say a thanks to God (for the first time) for blessing us with such a welcoming church.

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