Candy Canes, Barber Poles, and Lighthouses. Oh my!


In December of 2016, our church sponsored its first annual Angel Tree  Christmas event for some of the kids in and around our community. As part of the program, we included a special segment where a storytelling candy maker (yours truly) read ‘The Legend of the Candy Cane, by Lori Walburg. Here are some photos of that fun-filled afternoon.


There are a couple of stories regarding the origins of the candy cane. In the Christian version, the candy was given a crook shape to remind us of the shepherds who were the first to visit the newborn King of the Jews. And when you turn the crook upside down it resembles the letter ‘J’, which stands for Jesus, the name given to the promised King. The candy was given red stripes to remind us of Jesus’ suffering and the blood He shed for our sins. And the white stripes are a symbol of the washing away of our sin through His atoning sacrifice on the cross. While this inspirational version may not be verifiable, its message of hope actually can be. It is found in God’s word, the Holy Bible.

With that in mind, I suppose a red and white barber pole can also remind us of God’s salvation and so can the White Shoal Lighthouse (pictured above and below). Built in 1910, this 124 feet tower, which is still operational, is located on a shoal in the northeasterly end of Lake Michigan. Although there are two other barber pole style lighthouses in the US, this is the only one that is red and white or candy cane striped.

I must admit that the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season, while hectic and exhausting, do fill the atmosphere with a sense of gratitude and joy. However, as one who has personally experienced salvation as represented by the candy cane, I can attest that the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior surpasses any joy available to man. Unfortunately, far too many people still cannot relate to the life-changing act of love that started in a manger and ended at a rugged cross.

Every lighthouse in the world is unique in design. Not all of them have the candy cane stripes, but they all have the same purpose; to emit a light beam that guides those who are lost at sea to safety. Likewise, we may not all look the same physically or even spiritually, but we all have the same purpose; to shine God’s light and guide the lost to the saving arms of Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah foretold of Jesus’ sacrifice. He said that the Messiah would endure great pain and suffering and that through his wounds we would be saved (healed). The scourging and other brutal punishments Jesus received resulted in the shedding of his precious blood. The blood that still heals us by granting us forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life. At Calvary’s cross, Jesus laid down His life as a ransom for all humanity. He did it to restore our broken relationship with God and allow us to experience true hope, peace, and joy. Not only during the holidays but throughout our lifetime.

15589535_1504424709586546_3071936329821047010_nPerhaps the next time you see anything with red and white stripes you will remember the story of the candy cane. Better yet, you will be reminded that it is a message that needs to be shared with everyone who is yet to know that Jesus died in order to save us!

I pray you have a wonderful Christmas. May the new year bring you closer to God and to your loved ones. Don’t forget to share the “red and white” story that is found in God’s storybook, the Bible. It is verifiable not only because it is recorded therein, but because it has and continues to change millions of lives.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his stripes (wounds) we are healed (saved).” -Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)



Candy Cane History

Legend of the Candy Cane (film)
The Candymaker’s Gift

How Candy Canes are made

10 thoughts on “Candy Canes, Barber Poles, and Lighthouses. Oh my!

  1. Pingback: Legend of the Candy Cane: A Candymaker’s Witness

  2. Thank you, Jesus, for your blood and for making us white as snow, for being our Shepherd and for making my life sweet! I am so proud of you! my sweetheart, your wife, Mari.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post and I have to say that I also love lighthouses – possibly due to growing up in a small island, and to a former career as a navigating officer in the British Merchant Navy. There have been many times that I have taken bearings from lighthouses to confirm a ship’s position on the chart (in the days before satellite navigation).

    Lighthouses guide seafarers safely to port and are an aid to coastal navigation, but also warn of danger too. Before I went to sea I always fancied being a lighthouse keeper. I guess those of us who know the Lord should consider ourselves as just that – lighthouse keepers who by the way that we live allow God’s light to shine through us as a witness to those who do not know God.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Properties next to lighthouses come up for sale periodically in the UK Joe but they are usually expensive. I know if one which is also a bed and breakfast and one that has self catering holiday lets. I think it is because almost all UK lighthouses are automated now and the former keepers’ cottages sold off.

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  4. This story reminded me of a Bible Study I was in. The book we used to guide the study was called He Chose The Nails by Max Lucado. It was a wonderful book that somehow reminded me of what you said about our Lord and Savior Jesus in this post! The candy cane story is excellent and of course it makes sense!!! I will now think of Jesus anytime I see red and white!!!! I think the red and white lighthouse is stunning!!!! 😊 I thank my Heavenly Father for making us family members in The Body of Christ!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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