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Candy canes are essential. Their presence in Chloe’s stocking validates the holiday. She knows if her stocking is blessed by them, Santa and his Manager have delivered on their promise. They’ve brought the magic.

“I know it’s Jesus’ Birthday Mommy.” She brings home two candy canes from her Wednesday night church group and works on the red stripes. “When these are gone, Jesus has washed us clean. It’s his blood, Mommy.”

Noah gets one too. Crunch, lick, crunch and his stripes are devoured together in all 100_3165the sugary glory. Mmmmm. He’s off to don his spider man costume to destroy the bad guys with his sugar-powered web. He finds the magic in superheroes. Daniel in the lions den is his favorite story. The bad guys always lose to goodness, but there’s no time to be meticulous. It’s on.

The red stripes fade to white and Chloe announces the world white as snow.

She favors Noah’s style (the biblical one). She likes to line up her animals two by two, and haul them onto her pillowy soft ark. She even grabs her dollies so there is human representation.

Either way, the kids know that goodness in magical because no matter how the war of good and evil is fought, Jesus wins. And that means his friends win too.

So this is really for the grownups. Because when we lose the magic of Santa, and Christmas becomes more commercial, we feel the war something crazy. We have visions of heartaches, screw-ups, and impossibilities dancing in our heads, and have forgotten about the superheroes and the sweet taste of victory.

Focus on the candy cane. It’s victory made in pure truth, all the way through.

All of us, the tall and the small, can rest easy because we are powered by the stripes, not by our own strength.

That’s some beautiful sweetness.

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