Sunday, December 18, 2011

Magical Candy Canes

Owen and my Christmas tree are old friends. Children usually love my Christmas tree because of the charming ornaments, but for Owen, the real draw has always been eating the candy canes.

"You have more candy canes on your tree than anybody else. And they taste better all these years of my whole life," Owen declared at his last piano lesson. "I have eaten lots of your candy canes. They're the best."

"Maybe it's because you eat more of them at my house than anywhere else," I laughed.

"They're magical. They make me not be able to stop eating them," he joked, with his six year old humor.
"Is that because you get them from Santa instead of Walmart?"

"Oh, they're magical all right. Once upon a time, years before even your Grandma was a little girl, some shepherds were out in a field one night.  They were taking care of their sheep," I began, walking over to a corner and lifting my dad's old shepherds crook.  I carried it over to Owen and let him hold it, then continued my story. "Angels came and filled the sky and the shepherds were very afraid, but the angels said:

"Fear not!" Owen interrupted, as familiar with the Christmas story as he is with my Christmas tree.

"Yes!" I agreed. "They said, 'Fear not! For I am bringing you good news of great joy which is for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And they told the shepherds they would find the baby wrapped in a blanket and sleeping in a manger. And then what did the angels say, Owen," I prompted. "Glory..."

"Glory to God in the highest!"

"Yes. Glory to God in the highest! And since I was a little girl I have wondered how many shepherds there were. Every year I buy lots and lots of candy canes and pretend that they are shepherd crooks for the shepherds to herd all the sheep with them to see Baby Jesus."

"And so lots and lots of kids can eat them and maybe someday they can see Baby Jesus, too!" reasoned Owen.

"Yes. Because Jesus loves little children," I agreed.

"And you love little children, too. And I love candy canes!" finished Owen.

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