For a hundred years or more, a Candy Cane was absolutely defined as a red and white striped, peppermint flavored hard candy, formed in the shape of an upside down “J,” or a traditional cane. There are many fun little Christian stories that tell of the “J” shape standing for Jesus, and the red stripes representing the blood of… umm… well, ok, maybe the stories aren’t so much fun, as they are religious much less fun.
Over the years, the Candy Cane has taken on different looks, but interestingly, while it has found itself capable of changing its colors and stripes, it has not been as successful at changing its shape. When a Candy Cane comes with all of the defining aspects listed above, except for the curved end, it is no longer a Candy Cane, but a peppermint stick. And, if it is still peppermint flavored, still red and white in color, but in the shape of a ball, it is also not a Candy Cane, but a peppermint ball.
So, what is a Candy Cane, by today’s standards? Well, if all aspects of the traditional Candy Cane, except for the “J” shape and the candy content, are removed, it turns out that it is still considered a Candy Cane. Whether it tastes like strawberry, pineapple, chocolate, or Sweet Tarts, so long as it’s made in the shape of a “J,” it quite certainly qualifies itself as a Candy Cane.
These thoughts didn’t occur to me until after my morning coffee, though. Peppermint with coffee isn’t fantastic, which is weird because I swear I saw it being served that way at a coffee shop this month for $4.98. I made up for this mistake throughout the rest of the day, though. Santa left Sweet Tart Candy canes on the tree, so I had me one of those. A few hours later, I had one of my Mickey Mouse Candy Canes.
You know, I could have kept it going several more rounds, but then it occurred to me how still inside the box I was thinking. If the only two qualifiers for a Candy Cane are it be made of candy and shaped like a cane, then this whole of National Candy Cane Day could have been celebrated with just about anything. M&Ms, candy corns, pecans, or my all new favorite, chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Yes, this was the way I should have celebrated from the beginning, as National Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cane Day.
See you Sunday for National Bicarbonate of Soda Day… I know, I can’t wait to find out what that means either!