There’s a song in the air!
There’s a star in the sky!
~Joseph G. Holland
The strongest connection one might make between the origins of the candy cane and any intentional Christian association is to guess that possibly some unknown person, at some indefinite time, took a long-existing form of sweet (i.e., straight white sticks of sugar candy) that was already associated with Christmas and produced bent versions of it to represent a shepherd’s crook and/or make it easier to hang on Christmas trees, but even that general association is nothing more than mere supposition with no supporting evidence behind it. This is charming folklore, but one should not lose sight of the fact that such stories of the candy cane’s origins are, like Santa Claus, myths and not “true stories.”
There is one verifiable (albeit indirect) religious connection associated with the modern candy cane, however.
In 1919 Bob McCormack began making candy canes for local use and sales in Albany, Georgia, and by the middle of the century his company (originally the Famous Candy Company, then the Mills-McCormack Candy Company, and later Bob’s Candies) had become one of the world’s leading candy cane producers. But candy cane manufacturing initially required a fair bit of labor that limited production quantities (the canes had to be bent manually as they came off the assembly line in order to create their ‘J’ shape,) and it was McCormack’s brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller, who came up with the solution: Father Keller invented the Keller Machine that automated the process of shaping straight candy sticks into candy canes. ~Barbara Mikkelson
The woman said to him, “I know Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” ~John 4:25 ✝