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Candy Cane Christmas
Candy Canes are everywhere. They are used as decorations on Christmas trees and are one of the most popular of all Christmas treats. I have heard several stories about the history and meaning of the candy cane. I don’t know if they are true, but I do think that the candy cane can teach us a few things about the true meaning of Christmas. And while we are at it, I’ve added a lot of Christmas Party game ideas you can play with Candy Canes as well.

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Games using Candy Canes

  • Candy Cane Connection – You’ll need miniature size candy canes broken in half. Use this game to break your group up into pairs as a mixer. Mix up the halves of the candy canes and hand them out to participants. When everyone has arrived, have participants try to find the other half of their candy canes!
  • Candy Cane Conveyor – (adapted from Minute-to_Win_It) You will need Christmas ribbon and Candy Canes. Tie 30 feet of ribbon into a loop and place each player inside of it at their waist to form a conveyor belt. One player must place one candy at a time on the conveyor belt and they must spin in unison to convey the candy cane towards the other player who then picks it up and places into into a basket or holding area. Once the candy cane is removed by the second player the first player starts the cycle again. The first team to successfully transfer 3 candy canes wins.
  • Candy Cane Face Off – Place a small candy cane on the forehead of each participant. Instruct the participants to move the candy cane down their face to their mouth using only their facial muscles and head movements. The first person to eat the candy cane wins.
  • Candy-Cane Fencing – Give each youth a wrapped candy cane; the thicker the candy cane, the better. One person from each team battles a dueling partner from the other team, fencing with the candy canes. The first person with a broken candy cane loses the battle; the winner goes on to another round. The winner is the one who makes it through the most rounds without breaking his or her cane. Encourage the youth to keep the blows limited to the canes, rather than hitting one another with the candy canes.
  • Candy Cane Handshake Relay – Line up a group of players into two straight lines. Give the first player three canes (Normal size, not the mini ones). Youth cannot hold the Candy Canes in the palms of their hands. They need to be stuck between their fingers – one between the index and middle finger, one between the middle finger and ring finger, and one between ring finger and the pinkie! The players must pass the candy canes into the next player’s hand, in the same position, without using their thumbs or any other hand. You’ll need some extra candy canes as there will be some which are dropped and broken.
  • Candy Cane Hockey – You’ll need miniature size candy canes, candy goal markers, and a candy hocky puck. Make a goal at each end of a table using markers attached to the table. These markers can be a piece of candy or even candy canes stuck to the table with some blue tack adhesive. Make the goal posts about 4 inches apart. Use a jelly bean for a hockey puck. (It moves but doesn’t roll off the table to easily) Using the candy canes as hockey sticks try to shoot the jelly bean through the net of the opponent. The opponent is allowed to block the shots, but only with the candy canes. If at any time a body part touches the bean or your opponent, it’s an instant disqualification. The first to a set number of points wins. You can also determine the winner by who has the most points after a predetermined amount of time.
  • Candy Cane Horseshoes – Candy canes and a stick. Be sure the candy canes are wrapped in plastic as they are almost guaranteed to break into a number of small pieces during game play. For indoor games you can either drive a nail into a flat piece of wood or turn a table or stool over and use one of the legs as the post. In the manner of playing horseshoes, the objective is to take turns to toss the candy cane at an upright stick. Place a stick vertically somewhere in the ground. Then participants take turns throwing candy canes (underhand) at it. A game is divided into rounds and each round constitutes the pitching of two candy canes by each contestant. In each round, the one with the highest score goes first.The objective of the game is to get your candy cane closest. A candy cane must be within six (6) inches of the stake to score. A candy cane that first strikes the ground outside the target area or rebounds from behind the stake cannot be scored, nor can any candy cane thrown from an invalid position. A “ringer” (3 points) is a candy cane that encircles the stake so that a straight edge could touch the two prongs without touching the stake. The closest cane from each pair scores 1 point. A leaning shoe has no value over one touching the stake. The points are scored according to the position of the shoes at the round’s end, that is, after the contestants have each thrown two candy canes. This means it is possible for the second player to knock the opponents candy canes either away or closer to the stake.
  • Candy Cane NutStacker Suite – You’ll need 7 larger sized nuts…as in nuts and bolts (Check the size to make sure a candy cane could fit through the hole) Hold the candy cane in one hand by the hook. Using ONLY the straight end of the candy cane, pick up the nuts and place them one on top of another as high as you can. The goal is to reach 7 nuts high.
  • Candy Cane Pass – This Christmas party game idea is played like the traditional game known as “Hot Potato”. A candy cane is passed from person to person around the circle while someone plays Christmas music. The candy cane is passed to the youth right next to you who then passes the candy cane to the youth next to him or her. You can choose to play clockwise or counter clockwise. When the Christmas music is paused, the youth holding the candy cane is eliminated from the game. Throwing the candy cane after the music stops does not count. But as a parting gift, the youth gets to keep the candy cane he or she was holding so that everyone is a winner in this Christmas game. The youth must then sit out of the game until everyone has a candy cane. Continue starting and stopping the Christmas music until all but two are “out.” Last youth to NOT be holding the candy cane when the music stops wins. You might want to have an additional Christmas prize for the last remaining youth. If you want to add a little more challenge to the game you can call out the word “CHANGE” from time to time and change the direction in which the candy cane is passed.
  • Candy Cane Pick Up – Place a pile of candy canes on a table and provide a tray or basket for each player. Give each player a candy cane to put in his mouth with the hook end down. The player must use the candy cane hook to pick up the other candy canes and move them to the basket. The player with the most candy canes in their basket after one minute wins!
  • Candy Cane Pick-Up-Sticks – You’ll need candy canes, wrapped or unwrapped, stacked into a pile. You can use some candy canes of a different color and give them a higher point value. Traditionally, there are Blue Sticks – 50 Points, Green Sticks – 40 Points, Red Sticks – 25 Points, Yellow Sticks – 10 Points. Change this according to the frequency of colors and rarity for your candy canes. Played like traditional pick-up-sticks, the objective is to remove one candy cane from the pile without disturbing the remaining candy canes. Use a small stick such as a kebab skewer or chopstick as a tool in picking up the candy canes. The first player picks up candy canes, one at a time, until he causes any other candy cane to move besides the one he is attempting to pick up. The other team then gets its chance to do the same.
  • Candy Cane Relay – Divide the youth into two teams and give everyone a chopstick. (The cheap, disposable wooden ones work fine.) Each team forms a line, and each player holds his or her chopstick in front of him or her. Place a candy cane on the chopstick of the first youth. On “go”, the youth must turn and pass the chopstick on to the next youth who in turn passes it on down the line. Youth may only touch the candy cane with their chopstick. If the candy cane falls to the ground, and the youth cannot retrieve it with their chopsticks, the player who was passing it may pick it up and put it back on his or her chopstick, but a ten-second penalty will be assessed. When the candy cane reaches the last player, the player must run to the front of the line with the candy cane on his or her chopstick. The first team to get the candy cane back to the front of its line wins.
  • Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt – Each youth is given a piece of paper and a pencil and asked to find X number of candy canes around the room. You’ll need to hide each candy cane around the room – some should be easy to find and some more difficult. The person to be the first to find them all and correctly list the locations wins.
  • Candy Cane Tree Toss – Divide the youth into several teams. Each team must have its own artificial Christmas tree and its own box of candy canes. Each team stands behind a line 8 to 10 feet away from its own Christmas tree and has a minute to toss candy canes at the tree. At the end of the minute, the team with the most candy canes hanging on its tree wins. If any team runs out of canes before the minute is up, one team member may retrieve canes from the ground to toss them from the starting line again.
  • Candy Cane Tug – Played in the manner of breaking the wishbone of a turkey, the objective is to connect the two candy canes at the curved end and pull. The first candy cane to break is eliminated. Continue challenges until only a couple winners remain. You can also do this with regular size candy canes or even have them place it in the mouth for the challenge.
  • Candy Cane Wrap – You’ll need the hooked type of candy canes, wrapping paper, safety scissors and tape. Give each youth a large candy cane, a 1-foot section of wrapping paper, tape and safety scissors. If you have a large group you can also choose a representative from each team. The first youth to wrap the candy cane completely (no cane can show) is the winner.
  • Sniffing for Candy Canes – Santa lost his candy canes in the snow and has asked his reindeer to sniff them out. Each team chooses a reindeer as a representative. Each reindeer is given a pie-tin or tray of whipped cream. In each, lie two hidden pieces of candy canes. The aim is to sniff for the candy canes without the use of hands. If you use a tray, two teams can compete on the same tray. First group to sniff out the candy canes and come up with it in their teeth is a winner.
  • Hung With Care – (from Minute-to_Win_It) Two strings are hung horizontally, using whatever distance between them that you want. Players must then hang three candy canes on the string by their tips – not on the actual hook, but the small area at the very end of the hook. All three candy canes must remain hanging, concurrently, for three seconds in order to win the game.
  • Kissing Candy Canes – Divide the participants into two teams. Give each team five small candy canes. On signal, the team members pass their canes to the end of the line (one at a time) and back again using toothpicks stuck in their mouths.
  • Merry Fishmas – (from Minute-to_Win_It) To play Merry Fishmas, first set up a “fishing rod” by using string to tie a candy cane as the hook onto a chopstick. Tie one end of a short length of string to the straight end of the candy cane and tie the other end of the string to the end of the chopstick. Then, place four small candy canes on a table with the rounded ends hanging off the edge, facing down. When the timer starts, the player puts the chopstick in his mouth and attempts to snag all four of the small candy canes, one at a time, on the end of the large candy cane.

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

MAKE IT SPIRITUAL

To many people, the candy cane is a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time or just a piece of candy to be eaten and enjoyed. I hope that this year, every time you see a candy cane, you will be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

  • J – If you look at the candy cane it looks like the letter J. Jesus starts with the letter J, so that should remind us of Jesus and help us to remember that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. (Luke 2:11, Isaiah 9:11)
  • Shepherd’s Crook – If you look at the candy cane like this it looks like a shepherd’s crook. The shepherd used his crook to keep the sheep from wandering away from the flock and getting lost or eaten by a wild animal. The Bible says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1) The candy cane should remind us that Jesus is our shepherd and he will keep us from wandering away and getting lost or hurt. (John 10:11, Luke 2:8-10)
  • White – The candy cane is mostly white. White is a symbol of purity. That should remind us that Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God and that because he came to be the sacrifice for our sin, we can become as white as snow. (I John 1:7; Isaiah 1:18)
  • Red Stripes – As you know, the candy cane has three red stripes. The Bible tells us that before he was crucified, Jesus was beaten with a whip which made blood-red stripes across his back. The Bible says that we are healed by those stripes. The stripes on the candy cane should remind us that Jesus suffered and died, so that we can have everlasting life. (Mt 26:28) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his stripes you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:5)
  • Sweet – The sweetness of the candy cane reminds us that God Loves us and wants us to enjoy the many gifts He has given us – especially the gift of His Son, who came into the world on the first Christmas to save us. (John 3:16)

MAKE IT SPIRITUAL

  • What is the Significant of Jesus coming as a child?
  • What is the Significance of God as a Shepherd in the Bible? Why do you think the angel appeared to the Shepherds?
  • What is the relationship between Christ and purity?
  • Why was Christ sent? Why did he have to suffer? How do the lashes or Stripes Christ received relate to our forgiveness and healing as Christians?
  • How does John 3:16 relate to Christmas?

MAKE IT PERSONAL

  • What is the meaning of Christmas for you?
  • How can you use a Candy Cane to tell the story of Christmas to others?
  • It is said that Christmas isn’t really Christmas till it happens in your heart. Christ cam to save the world, but is he Savior for you? Have you accepted his gift of forgiveness?
  • Jesus was born as a Savior to all people, what responsibility have you committed to so that all people might have an opportunity to Choose Christ as Savior?
  • How does Christ’s birth and his sacrifice affect how you live your day to day life?

SCRIPTURES

  • Luke 2:11 – “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
  • Isaiah 9:6 – “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
  • Psalm 23:1 – “The Lord is my Shepherd”
  • John 10:11 – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
  • I John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
  • Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
  • Mt 26:28 – “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
  • 1 Peter 2:24 – “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”
  • Isaiah 53:5 – “He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
  • John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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