Writings, Stories, Articles

the Blog

Peppermint and Roses


Peppermint candy canes have a colorful history–or colorless! They began as straight white sugar sticks! Personally, I’m ever so delighted that red stripes were eventually added! Where would my arrangement of peppermint and roses be without them?

History of the Candy Cane

The Christmas Candy Cane originated in Germany about 250 years ago. The story has it that a choirmaster, in 1670, wanted to ensure his young children wouldn’t become restless during the long Christmas nativity service. He gave them candy shaped like a ‘J’ to replicate a shepherd’s hook. Supposedly they would be reminded of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus at the first Christmas.

Sometime around 1900, the red stripes were added and they were flavored with peppermint or wintergreen.

Whether the German story’s true or not, Christmas candy canes have a traditional role to play. I loved watching my kids when they were little tykes hang them on the tree as the very last decoration. They also passed them out to their friends. I doubt if the “J” shape reminded them of a shepherd’s hook, but they knew that Christmas was the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned but I still favor the traditional colors of red and green for Christmas–and gold, and silver. There’s just nothing prettier than an evergreen wreath tied with a red satin bow.

A particular favorite of mine is lime green (or even chartreuse) with gold and white. This arrangement is made with a 5″ styrofoam ball as the base for all the items that I wired and inserted into it. The styrofoam ball is hot-glued on top of the 30″ tall candlestick. Just to make it dramatic, I have lots of ribbons streaming down.

And greenery with white flowers in sterling silver is oh-so-elegant! Makes me glad I’ve finished the task of polishing ahead of time.

Details Matter

And details: a little touch of color and a holiday element–may be the sound of sleigh bells on the doorknob.

How about snapping a twiggy branch from just about any tree outside and embellishing it with some miniature balls? It’s almost a conversation piece to have something so unexpected. I placed this on the buffet in a tall flower vase. Simple and a little bit feisty!

Try This!

Try this: a clear vase, or two, or more with cranberries surrounding candles? These make a beautiful addition to a buffet or used as centerpieces if you have some not-too-tall clear containers. Just be sure your dinner guests can see over whatever centerpiece you choose. There’s nothing worse than not being able to see the person seated across the table.

Back to the peppermint and roses arrangement: Use a trifle dish or one of the inexpensive clear bowls or vases that can typically be found at Michael’s. Line it with peppermint sticks, keeping the candy held in place with a container that’s just the right size to press the peppermint sticks against the interior. Use one that will provide water for the natural roses in the center. The ones that I used are “permanent” roses but very life-like.

A Reason for the Season

And speaking of permanent, the shepherds, and the baby Jesus—Christians stand reminded that this season is joyful because, like the shepherds who sought the baby Jesus, we seek Him, too. We call him LORD because he gave us permanent life, eternal life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


Submit a Comment

Let’s Stay in Touch

Sign up to hear news about what I’m writing that may be of special interest to you.

You’re just one step away from a sneak peek of EASTBOUND FROM FLAGSTAFF!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Want a sneak peek of Sufficient Sacrifice?

Download this free preview and get started

on the third narrative in the My Father trilogy.

You have Successfully Subscribed!