Invented in Germany more than 200 years ago, these treats were shaped into canes to represent the staffs of shepherds from the first Christmas. Candy canes have also come to symbolize Jesus himself as the Good Shepherd. The red and white stripes are said to represent His blood and purity.
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The Christmas Tree
For hundreds of years, evergreen trees—which remain standing even in blizzards—were used in pagan winter festivals before they were adopted by Christians to symbolize everlasting life with God. In 2004, Pope John Paul II paid tribute to it saying, “The message of the Christmas tree, therefore, is that life is ‘ever green’ if one gives; not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening.”
Traditionally made from evergreen branches, the wreath is round to represent eternity, as it has no beginning or end. Branches of holly were added to remind us of Jesus’s crown of thorns, while the red berries are there to remind us of how His blood was shed to save us.
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