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Santa and the North Pole Candy Factory

Updated on December 16, 2012
Spread the love...
Spread the love... | Source

Where is Santa's Village?

Did you know that I met Santa at his home in the North Pole? I even met his reindeer. That was when I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. After my initial meeting that first summer, I would bring out-of-town visitors to meet him as well. He lives in a cozy little cottage style home with Mrs. Claus, and they graciously welcome every guest who come to their door.

His elves are always busy tap-tap-tapping in the workshop, but it isn't until late October that the candy elves start the huge orders for the traditional holiday candy that the world expects each year. And, at the top of the list...well, candy canes, of course! Those curved, red and white striped peppermint sticks that is a mark of the Christmas season. But, do you know the history behind the candy cane? They didn't always look the way they do now...

How to enjoy your candy cane:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Plain, however way you eat them.In hot chocolate to add a minty flavor.Or, to hang on your Christmas tree.
Plain, however way you eat them.
Plain, however way you eat them. | Source
In hot chocolate to add a minty flavor.
In hot chocolate to add a minty flavor. | Source
Or, to hang on your Christmas tree.
Or, to hang on your Christmas tree. | Source

The History of Candy Canes

The candy cane is a cane shaped stick of hard candy that is traditionally peppermint flavored. Initially, they were straight, white sticks, but legend has it that a choir director in Cologne, Germany used the candy to bribe his children's choir to stay quiet during the lengthy Christmas service. In order to justify the use of candy during a church service he asked a local candy maker to curve the end and shape them in the form of a cane, explaining to the children that they were symbols of the shepherds that were present in the stable where Christ was born. That was in 1670 and the shape became popular as a decoration for Christmas trees.

From Europe to North America, the tradition of decorating trees with the use of candy canes spread. In 1847, August Imgard, a German immigrant to Ohio, is credited with giving candy canes to relatives and initiating their decorative use on trees.

In the early 1900's candy canes began to have the red stripe added to them. Later, the green striped candy cane appeared with a wintergreen flavor. Today there are hundreds of flavors including tutti fruit, watermelon, blueberry and strawberry. There are also more exotic flavors that can be purchased such as bacon, pickles and gingerbread.

In 1920, Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia, became a manufacturer of the holiday candy cane. The problem he experienced was that the candy would frequently break before they were packaged. His brother-in-law, a Catholic priest by the name of Gregory Keller, created a machine that prevented this problem and in 1952, the Keller machine changed Bob's sales into a mass production. Bobs Candies, Inc became the largest producers of candy canes world wide until 2005 when the family business was sold to Farley's and Sathers.

The Candy Cane Song

Seasonal Candy

Mixed candy and M & M's
Mixed candy and M & M's | Source

Other Christmas Candy

Boxed Chocolates: Did you know that the largest sale of boxed chocolates does not occur in February on Valentine's Day? No, Valentine's Day is the fourth largest sale of boxed chocolates following Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. Over 70% of people will either give or receive chocolates during the winter holiday season.

When it comes to selecting a box of chocolates, no matter what the occasion, quality should count over quantity or price. A smaller box of well made chocolates from a reputable company is a far better value over all than a cheap box with more candy of lesser quality. Look for ingredients: fresh or artificial, and that would include both nuts or fruit filling. Look for a chocolate that melts in your mouth with a smooth texture, not something that has a gritty sensation.

Chocolate covered cherries is another holiday favorite. You can see shelves lined with various brands. In addition to this the seasonal chocolate orange or strawberry, dinner thin mints and Almond Rocha candies appear. No matter what type of chocolate you may receive, don't wait to eat this sweet treat or it will lose its fresh quality. Chocolates do go stale and it is imperative that they are eaten within a week or two.

Hard Candy: In addition to chocolate candies we know that other candy makers have seasonal wrappings and colors. There are green and red M & M's; there are special Hershey kisses; there are tins of hard candy called ribbon candy and bags of mixed hard candy specializing in cinnamon and peppermint flavored candies.

Then there is my ultimate favorite made by Brach's: a raspberry shaped and flavored hard candy with a soft center that comes through as the outer coating melts. I first tasted this at Christmas time at my paternal grandparents home. Each Christmas we would visit on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents. I can still vividly recall the candy dish that would sit in the front room with these magical candies.

As I grew up I always looked forward to getting this 'once-a-year' treat. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any here in the south, although family and friends have sent them to me in Christmas care packages. I don't know the name of this candy, but for some reason the name: Raspberry Stuffie comes to my mind. It may be the correct name, or a childish nickname I gave it. Either way, it is what makes my Christmas candy dreams complete.

How do YOU eat your candy cane?

I'm taking a survey on how readers eat their candy canes:

See results

Candy Cane Trivia:

The National Confectioners Association, (NRC), has some interesting surveys. One of the surveys claim that boys will crunch their candy canes more often than girls. I'm curious as to why that is. I can only imagine that the girls like to savor the flavor and the boys like to eat theirs fast and then go after their sister's candy cane.

Another survey indicates that more people suck their candy cane, (54%), then crunch or bite them, (24%). The other option they gave was 'licking' at just 19%. The remainder 3% listed their way of eating as: 2% "I don't know", and 1% "other". I cannot imagine what the 'other' might be, can you?

Over 1.76 billion candy canes will be produced annually.

There are only a mere 55 calories in an average sized candy cane.

The largest candy cane on record was made by Paul Ghinelli at 58 feet and 2.25 inches long.

Boxed chocolates anyone?

Holiday candy includes: chocolates, a chocolate orange, and candy canes.
Holiday candy includes: chocolates, a chocolate orange, and candy canes. | Source


Honey was man's first sweet discovery
Honey was man's first sweet discovery | Source

How sweets have enticed man through time

Is man naturally born with a sweet tooth? Although each person has their own individual level of preference for sweet treats, it appears that the desire for the taste of something sweet has occurred since prehistoric times. The most ancient sweetener has been honey and it shows up in records from the cavemen through the Egyptians and into the European Medieval Period.

Candy is documented as part of the Egyptian culture 3500 years ago. Cacao, which is the base of chocolate, was used back in the Mayan culture and later discovered by the Spaniards in Mexico in 1519. By the mid 1800's over 380 American factories were producing candy.

Santa Claus and the North Pole

North Pole, Alaska:
North Pole, AK 99705, USA

get directions

The home of Santa Claus and his family: the wife, the elves and the reindeer.

Santa Claus, Indiana:
Santa Claus, IN, USA

get directions

1.76 billion candy canes is the equivalent of the distance between Indiana and Alaska back and forth 32 times.


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Ho, Ho, Ho! Linda. I'm glad someone thought of that, too. It's perfect to hang on the side of my mouth, lol. Merry Christmas to you...I'm in Michigan visiting Cara and my other daughter and grandkids.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Ho! Ho! Ho! I had no idea about the history of the candy cane, very interesting! I'm sure glad they decided to add the hook, that makes it so much easier to hang on a tree :)

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Vellur-I'm glad you enjoyed the candy facts. The 'man and honey' info was something I did not know until my research. I love learning new things and sharing it. Thanks for the vote up. Happy Holidays to you.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      7 years ago from Dubai

      Oh!! All those sweet treats makes me want to eat up a whole packet of candy!! Great hub, interesting facts showcased. Never knew that honey was man's first sweet discovery. Voted up.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi catronhype-thanks for your comments. I have a favorite Christmas candy, myself-they're raspberry flavored. :) Enjoy your candy, ha ha.

    • catronhype profile image


      7 years ago from CrownFire Inc 180 Trowers Rd Unit #16 Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 8A6 Canada

      wow what great hub and i love to eat candies . Santa Candies are really awesome and i eat Santa Candies on every christmas.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Dianna-you aren't alone! I went to the downtown tree lighting ceremony on Saturday with my nephew. Santa handed out candy canes and he shared his with me. His was gone in less than a minute. My piece lasted much longer because I was determined not to bite it. But, I usually do what you do-start out with good intentions and then succumb to the crunch. Oh, it is so good, isn't it? Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Denise, I bite and crunch my candy cane! I have tried to make it last, but it is just too irresistable for me and I always end up chewing it fast. Love the minty flavor. Your photos are certainly tempting. Thanks for the fun and information on candy canes.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi NCBIer-I sure hope you're able to make that trip to Santa Claus's house with your boys. I happen to love Moose A Moose-he's quite a guy in my opinion, so I was glad to find a cool song about candy canes by him. :) Thanks for your comments.

      Hi Mary-thanks for reading. We always have candy canes at Christmas for our tree and hot chocolate (oh, and Santa always leaves one in the stockings, too.) Thanks for the vote up.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      It wouldn't be Christmas at my house without candy canes! I use them on the tree for ornaments, and I use them in cooking candies, too

      Interesting Hub. I voted it UP.

    • NCBIer profile image


      7 years ago

      I loved the Santa Claus house growing up and fully intend to take my boys there before it is too late for them to appreciate it. They loved the candy cane song, by the way. Thanks for the hub!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Randi-oh no...I finished my 14-just swing back to my page and you'll see how I used my candy canes, ha ha. Thanks for all your encouragement. The 30 day hub streak is over for me this month. I didn't finish, but went further than last month and will start fresh in December (tomorrow). It was very helpful getting a niche for the beginning and having the contest to motivate also spurred me on. I think I finished 18 all together this time.

      I'm glad the information on the candy cane was new for you...I wasn't sure how many people knew the history. Thanks for the vote up.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      What a great, informative hub! I never knew the history of the candy cane until now! Congrats, Denise on #16 and #13! That makes you just over 1/2 way on the 30 day and, yay, only one to go on the 14 day! Good for you and an excellent fun hub! Thank you for sharing! up+!


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