Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Favors (and the Candy Cane Legend)

I am fortunate enough to be an advisor for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls (a Masonic Girls Organization). We recently had our state-level Christmas party and (because of the position I currently hold) I needed to have favors for the party. Me being me, I knew I wanted to make as many of them as I could.

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, or Tumblr you might have gotten a glimpse of what I made for this event.

I combined the above with several other fun items to make these goodie bags.
The bags are simply closed with some Christmas washi tape.

Here's what I included in each baggie.
Two zip-top jewelry bags. One with two chocolate dipped, sprinkle coated pretzels and one with a peppermint stick that was given similar treatment. Using cardstock, I printed my own Merry Christmas labels to attach the baggies together with a staple.

I also included these cute, tiny stained glass coloring books and markers from Oriental Trading Company.

Lastly, I threw in a little more candy and some holiday stickers. (oops, that fancy penguin's upside down!. . .the top hat makes him fancy, obviously.)

I wanted to be sure to give each of the girls that attended a little something special as well, so I made up another set of little baggies as pedicure kits.

They're just a small bottle of nail polish and a set of pedicure tools, but the label is what makes it for me. I found the "For Your MistleTOES" labels via The Crafting Chicks.

I also made favors for the devotional breakfast. This time I went a little more simple with baggies of homemade hot cocoa mix (with marshmallows), a  Candy Cane Legend bookmark, and some candy canes.

I don't recall exactly which cocoa mix I used, but you can simply find one by searching for 'homemade hot cocoa mix' on the internet. I topped the cocoa with another homemade label that included the instructions.  The Candy Cane Legend bookmarks were found HERE on Scribd. To add a little more pizazz to them once they were printed, I punched a hole at the top, stuck on a clear reinforcer, and tied a bit of red ribbon to it (though green would have been nice too.)

I also read some information about the Candy Cane Legend to the girls. It's a legend that I just really love so I thought I'd share with you what I shared with them.
I’ve used this Legend many times because there’s just something so innocent about a candy cane, yet it is packed with meaning. You’ve probably heard me or someone else tell this legend before, but it’s still hard to find a consistent story about where the candy cane derived. Some stories say that in 18th century Europe public displays of Christianity were forbidden so a candy-maker used the candy cane to covertly display his love for the Lord. Another story is that the first maker of the candy cane was in Indiana. Yet another story is that a Choirmaster in 1670 Germany gave hooked candy sticks to his young members of the choir to keep them quiet during the service. In all of the stories I found, the symbolism of the candy cane remains the same: 
**The hooked shape is a symbol of a shepherd’s hook to remind us that Jesus is our shepherd and we are his flock. When turned upside down, the cane becomes a “J” for Jesus’ name.
**It is a hard candy to remind us that Jesus is the rock of our salvation.
**It begins as a pure white to represent the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus.
**The stripes on the candy cane also have meaning. Most often, the candy has one main stripe and three smaller ones. The large one represents the blood shed on the cross for our sins. And the smaller three are the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
**Even the flavor of the candy is symbolic. The peppermint is similar to Hyssop which was used for purification and sacrifice just as Jesus sacrificed His life for ours. 
Unfortunately over time the real story of the Candy cane has been hard to find and its meaning all but lost in the busy-ness of the season. It has become nothing more than a piece of candy. However, you now know what it truly means and can share it with others. For when you share a piece of a Candy cane, you are sharing Jesus with a friend.

I'm not positive I'll have time to post again before Christmas, so let me go ahead and wish you a most magical and blessed Holiday however you choose to celebrate it!

1 comment:

  1. Those gift bags look great! I bet that the party was a lot of fun.

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