top of page

a candy cane Christmas! a family celebration!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A HO-HO-HELLO to you all!

We are in the midst of holiday gatherings with family and friends

with more celebrations to savor in the coming days!

Are you all set for lots of family fun?

Last year, in our Merry!  Merry! post

we shared fun ways to add holiday excitement

to your Christmas celebrations with family and friends!

Our Minute to Win It game ideas and our Gift Exchange options

were well received so be sure to check this post out!

This year we’ve got more excitement for you and your loved ones…

SWEET ideas and games just for you!

Red and white candy canes are festive 

and their peppermint flavor and affordable price tag

make them the perfect little things to provide holiday cheer!

Whether your family is celebrating on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day 

or on another date that works best for everyone involved, 

we’ve got you covered for a memorable gathering

filled with loads of giggles and fun! 

In fact... these games would be a wonderful addition to

a New Year's Eve or New Year's Day event, too!

Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of our post...

where we'll share a link to fun ways to celebrate New Year's Eve

and we'll wrap up our year of blogging

with our Christmas message to you all!

Every December, we each look forward to the holiday celebrations

that bring our loved ones together!

We love planning fun activities and games for all of us to enjoy

and, thankfully, we are both surrounded by Grands, Middles and Littles

who also happen to be great sports!

Whether it’s Laurie and her family celebrating Christmas Eve morning 

beginning with the traditional cinnamon roll tree made by the Middles!


Laura attending an annual Jingle Bar party with family and friends,

we always look for an occasion to provide some memorable activities for all!

When Daughter J married Laura’s SIL 

little did we know that we’d be adopted into their extended family!

What a blessing this friendship is for our family!

Each year they host a Jingle Bar complete with 

amazing decor, a festive theme and yummy food!

This year Laura brought candy cane games to add to the evening's festivities 

and many are described below.

Laurie is also sharing. afavorite family card game,

one that will leave all ages laughing!

And... you guessed it! The game features candy canes!

These games are perfect for your young Littles

and require few (if any) supplies beyond the needed candy canes!

❤️ Candy Cane Hunt!

It’s like East Egg Hunting during your Christmas celebration! Depending on where you live, this game can be played inside or outside.   Beforehand, simply hide several  candy canes around the house or yard and then let your Littles go in search!  Laura provided a little stocking.  Then Little L had fun finding the candy canes and adding them to the growing collection in her stocking!

If you’d like to make it a contest among several Littles, then the player who finds the most candy canes wins!

❤️ Fishing for Candy Canes!

This will remind you of a classic carnival game, but with a candy cane spin!  To prepare ahead of time, tie a string onto a stick (Laura used a chopstick) and then tie the other end of the string to a candy cane so that it resembles a fish hook.  For young Littles don’t make the string any longer than 6-8 inches.  You can make it more challenging for older Littles by extending the length of the string.  Then, fill a jar, mug or even a larger container with several candy canes, hook side up!  (We placed a smaller glass inside the mug shown so that the candy canes would stand up.)

To play, players stand near the container of candy canes and try to “catch” them using the candy cane hook on their “fishing pole”.  (You can decide if it works best having the container on the floor or a low table or counter.). Set a time limit (perhaps 3 minutes) and the player who catches the most candy canes in that time frame wins! As an alternative, time each player and keep track to see how long it takes for each to “catch” one, two or three candy canes!  The player with the fastest time, wins!

A Grand Tip!

For your young Littles, 

let them hold the candy cane in one of their hands

as whown above while they go fishing! 

❤️ 2 More Simple & Easy Games!

While neither of us has played these games recently with Littles, each has been a part of our repertoire for past holiday parties in our classrooms!  Each is super easy to set up and fun to boot!

Candy Cane Toss!

This game is similar to horseshoes.  You’ll need to set up a pole on a table or on the floor… We've simply put a drinking straw in a ball of playdough and set it on a table (or you could hold a broomstick upside down and hold it out at arm’s length).  Your Littles will take turns playing this game.  Littles are given five candy canes when it’s their turn.  Each Little takes a turn tossing their candy canes toward the pole.  The hope is that the candy cane will land close to the pole or even wrap around the pole. The Little who hooks a candy cane around the pole the most times, or lands a candy cane closest to the pole, wins the game.  NOTE:  You could also give points as each Little takes a turn - one point for candy canes that touch the pole and three points for ones ringing it!

Drop the Candy Cane in the Bucket!

Do you remember playing the clothespin game as a kid?  This is the candy cane version!  Your Littles will take turns kneeling on a chair (one with a back) while holding one or more candy canes.  Below the chair is a container - one with a wide opening works well with young Littles while a smaller jar or bottle will be challenging for your older Littles.  The goal is to drop the candy canes into the container below.

If your family is anything like ours

your older Littles AND your Middles will get a kick out of these holiday games!

THEY ARE HILARIOUS for participants and observers alike!

Younger Littles will be enthralled with everything going on around them, too!

💚 Candy Cane Card Game!

Have you ever played the popular card game, Spoons?  Well, here’s a fun twist!  Instead of grabbing for a spoon in the middle of the table, grab for a candy cane!

The goal of the game is to get 4 of a kind.  

For example, 4 Kings or 4 sevens.  

Begin by counting your players.  Then arrange candy canes in a small circle in the middle of the table BUT only count out the number equal to one less than the number of players.   For example, if there are 6 people playing, use 5 candy canes and so on.  One player is chosen to be the dealer and he/she deals four cards to each player and keeps the remainder of the deck nearby..  If a large group is playing  (Laurie’s family has played with 15 people before!) use more than one deck of cards!  Each player should also have squares of paper that spell out a Christmas word.  The word will vary depending on how long you want to play.  JOY would be a short round, CANDY a medium round and if using the word CHRISTMAS you’d play a long round!

The dealer picks up a card from the deck and decides if they want to keep it or discard it, passing it to the person on their left.  That person picks up the discarded card and decides if they want to keep it.  If they do, they must discard a card in their own hand.  Play continues in the same way as cards are passed around the circle.  Each player may only hold four cards in their hand at a time.

When the first player is holding 4 of a kind, he/she discreetly swipes a candy cane from the middle.  As soon as that first player picks up a candy cane, the other players can grab one too — even if they don’t have their own 4 of a kind!  The player left without a candy cane at the end of the round loses.  That player must take the first letter of the chosen word (JOY, CANDY or CHRISTMAS), and place it in front of them.  Continue until a player has spelled their whole word.  Then that player is out! Keep playing until there is only 1 player left and WINS!

💚 Candy Cane Pick Up! 

The goal of this game is to collect as many candy canes as you can in just one minute (or perhaps two).  You’ll need two players for each round.  To set up the game, you’ll need a plate filled with wrapped candy canes, 2 cups (we used red Solo cups) and then an unwrapped candy cane for each player.  We put everything on a bar stool, as shown in the photo.  NOTE:  For an added challenge, we added some blue candy canes and a few green ones.  These were worth more points than the red ones!

Players put the straight edge of an unwrapped candy cane in their mouth - this will be used like a fishing hook.  With hands behind their backs or at their sides and on the cue “Go” both players use their candy cane hook to try and pick up another candy cane and then put it into their own cup.  

NOTE:  The Solo cups tip over easily, so be careful… any candy canes that fall out won’t be counted!  When time runs out, the player that’s collected the most candy canes in their cup wins! (With BONUS points for blue or green ones “caught”!)

A Grand Tip!

Add some $$$ incentive for your Littles…

In fact, all ages will love this!

For this version, players take individual turns 

(rather than playing against each other)

 Players gets money (a dollar or more)

for each candy cane they successfully transfer!

💚 Dress a Candy Cane! 

Let the silliness begin! Ahead of time, ask for 2-3 people to be the judge (including your littlest Littles). Then divide remaining players into teams of 4 or 5. Each team chooses one person to be the Candy Cane and all of the other players will be the Wrappers!  Set a timer for 3 minutes and count down, 3, 2, 1… While the Candy Cane stands still, the Wrappers use rolls of red and white crepe paper to dress the Candy Cane in red and white stripes!  

When time is up, the judges will determine the winner based on best design and teamwork! 

As a judge, which team would you choose as winner of our contest?

Tough decision!

Meanwhile, during all the excitement, Little L was having her own kind of fun!

💚 Twirling Candy Canes! 

If you are good at hula hoops, this might be for you!  Believe us, it’s harder than it looks! Time each player to see how long they can twirl a candy cane on one finger!  Check out our winner… she beat us all by twirling two candy canes at once!  Woohoo!

💚 Candy Cane Tree Toss! 

For this game you’ll need a small artificial Christmas Tree and a lot of candy canes! You can play one of two ways.

Version #1 - Players take turns.  Standing a distance away from the tree, each player throws 5 candy canes (one at a time) at the tree, trying to get them to land on the tree!  The player with the most candy canes hanging from their tree wins!

Version #2 - Players play in teams of 2-3 people and have numerous candy canes available.  Teams take turns by standing around the tree.  When signaled to begin all team players throw candy canes at their tree until time is called (1-2 minutes).  When time is up, each team counts how many candy canes successfully hung on the tree.  When all teams have had a turn, the winner is announced!

Little L joined in the cheering section all night long!

💚 2 More Simple & Easy Ideas!

These ideas we have yet to try with our families so, while we can’t quite put the “Family Faves” stamp of approval on them, we’re pretty sure they’d fit the bill!  Watch for updates on Facebook/Instagram!

Candy Cane Home Run!

For this take off on a baseball game, you’ll need a large peppermint stick and some large marshmallows.  Players take turns throwing the marshmallow (the ball) in the air and doing their best to hit it with the peppermint stick (the bat).  The player who’s marshmallow travels the farthest wins!

Candy Cane Catch!

Believe it or not, this game is harder than it sounds.  Players play with partners and are spread out (3-8 feet apart depending on age/comfort).  One player throws a candy cane to his/her partner who tries to catch it by ringing the candy cane around one finger only! If successful, the partners each take a step backward and try again until only one set of partners remains and wins!

Do you and your families have a tradition of playing fun games

as part of your holiday celebration?

If so, we’d LOVE to hear about it!

’Please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post

or you can always  email us directly at

No surprise… our families love our games and silly time!

Yet, let there be no doubt that we all know what the real gift of Christmas is…

the tiny babe born in a stable,

the Savior of us all! 

While having fun with the candy canes,

we Grands can also share with our Littles

the ways this sweet candy reminds us of 


and the sweetest story ever told!

This poem says it all!

For young and old alike,

the story of the candy cane can play a powerful role in reminding us all

of God’s faithfulness and infinite love!


This is our final blog post for 2023!

While we won’t be posting next week,

we’re linking up here to our Happy New Year! post from last year.

If you are looking for great ideas for ringing in 2024 with your loved ones, 

please check it out!

New Year’s decorations (homemade, that is) and a 

delightful hourly countdown are highlighted!

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts

for taking the time to stop by and read our blog this year.

Your many words of support have encouraged us!

We love our blogging community!

If you'd like to subscribe to our blog, we'd love that!

And, that way you won’t accidentally miss our next post,

coming in January 2024!

Our wish and prayer for you all -

our readers, our friends,

Is that you’ll feel God’s love wrapping you in His goodness

as together we celebrate this Holy Season

and may His gifts of peace, love and joy be yours,

now and always!

We are delighted to join these link up parties and blog hops this week:

1 Comment

Paula Short
Paula Short
Dec 26, 2023

How FUN!!

Thanks bunches for sharing these games with Sweet Tea & Friends this month dear friends.

bottom of page