My favorite element of Christmas decorating: peppermint stripes!
The combination of sugar white and gleaming red is refreshingly cheerful. My own settling upon the pattern as the main motif for our tree didn’t happen overnight. It was a long circuitous path beginning with the long held custom of hanging candy canes on the tree. Then, somewhere along the line, I purchased some red and white striped glass balls. Which lead to more, which culminated, finally, in taking over the color scheme of the entire tree.
We had bypassed the briefly pastel and then blue colors, through slow attrition, and eventual banishment of the remainders to the back and deep insides of the tree.
My original plan so many years ago, of having a”Jesus tree”, resurfaced in the color theme of red and white.
…a real tree, red and white theme with traditional and sentimental ornaments and multicolored lights,
…smells and looks like Christmas.
The scents of pine, of peppermint and cinnamon, and baking cookies all combine into the unforgettable memories over more than a half century of my holiday celebrations.
Funny, how all of these things can be triggered in my mind by the sight of the simple peppermint stripes of a candy cane.
The Meaning Of The Peppermint Stripes
The story of the Candy CaneÂ is that a candymaker, long ago, created this candy with the symbolism of Christ in the colors and stripes.
- white candy color represents virgin birth and sinless nature
- 3Â small stripes to symbolizeÂ the scourging of Jesus for our healing
- 1 large red stripe stood for the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross
- The shape of a cane, that he was the Good Shepherd
- hard candy representing the firm, sure promise of God
Whether legend or not, we can certainly think of these things within the ubiquitous sight of this candy during Advent season.
Legends And Histories
While they intertwine, there is a difference between legends and histories. Too often we focus on the legends of Christmas and forget that the story of Jesus is a witnessed recounting of a history.
Because we so highly regard the miracle of it, we are tempted to embellish the Christmas story like we do our front yards and porches. With impossible details of bloated snowmen, flying Santas, and the wisemen arriving at the manger scene (I’m guilty of that last one!)
Yet, we don’t have to add anything to the Christmas account. It stand alone is a beautiful expression of God’s great love for mankind, and the way he ensured that each one of us could be included in the invitation of this great salvation, this good news.
In the promises of scripture, in the presentation of Jesus, we are able to find that it is just as we are told.
We may have to be patient, we certainly will need faith, but the truth of God’s promised salvation, his certain love for us, will surface above all the obscurity, the confusion, and the interference of dark forces.
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, â€œLetâ€™s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.â€
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Do You Hear What I Hear?