How long have there been candy canes

Stollen & Candy Cane | December 2017

by Rocco Grämmel

Different elements are needed to create the right Christmas mood. Contemplative Christmas music, sweet Christmas scent, beautiful decorations and very important is the delicious Christmas dinner.

At this time of year there are many delicacies such as cinnamon stars, shortbread cookies, candied almonds, speculoos, dominoes, baked apples and much, much more. You are sure to have a favorite Christmas dinner that you definitely shouldn't miss for the right Christmas mood.

Some delicacies not only taste good, but also have an exciting story to tell. Let's take a look at the ones from the stollen and the candy cane.

The history of the Christmas cake is over 600 years old. It was first mentioned in a document in 1380 in Naumburg an der Saale, in Saxony-Anhalt. But then it wasn't nearly as delicious as it is today. Because its ingredients were only water, yeast and flour, since it was a fasting pastry. But then the Elector of Saxony sent a request to the Pope to be allowed to add butter as well. In 1491 permission was given in the so-called "Butterbrief". Many other delicacies were added later, e.g. raisins, almonds, marzipan, orange peel, vanilla and a lot of butter and powdered sugar on top.

Only the best comes in

The best was just good enough for the tunnel. From the outside it kept its simple appearance, but the inside was filled with the most valuable things the bakery had to offer. My grandmother still knew the times when families had been collecting the ingredients for the family cakes all year round. And then this much sought-after delicacy was not part of the festive season until Christmas Eve.

To this day, the tunnel is traditionally understood as a symbol of the Christ child. That is why it is also called "Christstollen". This visualization becomes clear in its two different appearances, outside and inside.

From the outside: inconspicuous white

The outer appearance of the tunnel is simple without colorful ornamentation or similar decoration.

He is reminiscent of the inconspicuous child in the crib that was wrapped in simple white diapers. He looked like any other child. This was given to the shepherds as a mark of identification.

Lk 2:12: "And that is the sign for you: You will find a child, wrapped in diapers, lying in the manger."

The real beauty and worth could only be seen by who saw the inside.

Inside: the great treasure

Only a look inside the gallery reveals its great treasures of delicacies.
Likewise, only a look inside the baby Jesus reveals his real being. At Christmas his parents, the shepherds and the wise men recognized this.
Many years later, people would also recognize this at the baptism of Jesus. That is why God personally confirms Jesus as His Son at his baptism.

Mt 3,17 (NEW) “And from heaven said a voice:“ This is my dear son. I enjoy him! "

People should realize that Jesus was God's dearest and greatest treasure. Much like at a Christmas performance, when the parents proudly point to their child and say: This is my child! God wanted to make sure that people realized that Jesus is the Son of God. God makes it clear that Jesus is the BEST and MOST VALUABLE is that God the Father could send. He has no one who is more HIM. God couldn't have given us anything better on Christmas Day. And if you don't want Jesus, you will unfortunately get nothing with God.

The tunnel is filled with the best and most valuable, because God has given us His best and most valuable.

So the tunnel asks us the question: What is the best that we can give to God? Our love, that's what HE wants. We should give it to HIM, that's why we are asked to:

1Joh 4,19 (LUT1912) “Let us love him; because he loved us first. "

The second Christmas delicacy is the candy cane, which is especially famous in the USA. There is on December 26th. Candy Cane Day, the day of the candy cane. It is interesting that the candy cane was actually invented in Germany. The story goes that in 1670 the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral had candy canes made to keep the children of his choir calm during the Christmas nativity play in the cathedral. At that time they were probably only in white in the shape of a shepherd's staff.
Then they came to the USA with the emigrants and there they became a Christmas cult and also got red stripes.
The candy cane is also a traditional symbol for the Christmas message:

Their properties can be explained as follows:

    • It's sweet like the Christmas message:
      The angels proclaim sweet and joyful news to the shepherds and to every other person. They said: "I bring you great joy" (Lk 2:10)
    • It's in the shape of a J for Jesus: Because HE is the real main character of Christmas. There is no Christmas without HIM.
    • The other way around it has the shape of a shepherd's staff: The first to hear this good news and to rejoice in it were the shepherds from the field in Bethlehem. And Jesus himself came to be the “good shepherd” (John 10:11) for everyone.
    • The red color stands for the bloody Good Friday: Because Christmas is the necessary prelude to Easter. Jesus becomes a man at Christmas, only to sacrifice himself for us 33 years later on Good Friday. He is our lifesaver. He sheds his blood, that's what the red stands for. Because the Bible describes the condition of man as sick, namely from sin. The effects of the disease are breaking God's rules in words, deeds, and thoughts.
      Because of this, we have no way of contact with God and we need healing.
      Isa 53,5 “But he was pierced because of our transgressions, because of our iniquities; the punishment was upon him that we might have peace, and through his wounds we were healed. "
    • The white color stands for whole, healthy and holy:
      By the blood of Jesus we are clean, sanctified. And only in this way can we now come into the presence of the holy God. We can even call him Father if we believe in Jesus. And once we die we can also go to his holy heaven.

So the candy cane reminds us of many aspects of the sweet, great good news of Christmas.

But belief is like eating. Whether the stollen is delicious and the candy cane sweet can only be found out by trying it. Who costs from it. We can also only experience Jesus if we get involved with HIM. Take advantage of the opportunity at the next Christmas dinner and invite other people to "taste" it. And of course: Do not forget to claim this sweet truth for yourself again and again.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas!