Thanks for hanging out with me today for the Afternoon Drive!
Today on the show, I gave a little recap of my Christmas day which involved lots of music and lots of good food! I also talked about today’s fun holiday… Candy Cane Day! I gave some history and fun facts about this traditional Christmas treat! Did you know that candy canes have a religious symbolism to them? Keep reading to find out more! We also talked about a few ways to fight through the post-Christmas depression.

Of course, it’s not the Afternoon Drive without some giveaways, right?
Today we gave away a $5 gift certificate to Troyer’s of Apple Valley playing some Christmas trivia!
We played Family Feud style, of course. Looking for the number one answer…
Our Question? Name a popular Christmas food.
Our number 1 answer? Cookies with 18 votes!
2. Ham – 16
3. Fudge – 11
4. Eggnog – 8
5. Hot Chocolate – 6

Congratulations to Doug from Mt. Vernon! He guessed correctly!

Thanks to our friends at Days of the Year for the history of the candy cane!
The original candy cane was made 350 years ago. Over time the candy cane has become a symbol and tradition during the Christmas holiday, used as a decoration for Christmas trees. The first candy cane was not made in the shape of a cane. It was white, completely straight and only flavored with sugar. According to German folklore, the first candy canes were made in the 17th century when a choirmaster in Germany needed to find a way to keep the children quiet during the exceptionally long Christmas Eve Mass.

So he ordered peppermint-flavored candy sticks from a local confectioner, but with a few twists of his own, steeping them in religious symbolism. He requested the sticks to be shaped as a visual representation of the canes that the shepherds coming to visit the baby Jesus might have had. Some also say that when turned upside-down, the candy cane becomes the letter J, which stands for Jesus. Of course, the sticks were colored white (to represent the sinless, pure life Jesus lived) and red (to represent the blood Jesus lost when he was crucified for the sins of mankind).

Here’s some fast facts about this Christmas treat!
Each year about 1.76 billion candy canes are made
90% of candy canes are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Candy canes are the number one selling non-chocolate candy in the month of December.
The biggest single week for candy cane sales is the second week in December.
A Geneva pastry chef broke his third Guinness World Record by creating the world’s longest candy cane in 2012, measuring at 51 feet long. The previous record was 38 feet.

Christmas can be hard time for some, and we need to acknowledge that “Post-Christmas Depression” takes effect on many. There are a few ways to manage the post-Christmas depression you may be feeling, and number one is to take care of yourself.
From Halloween to New Year’s, Americans tend to redefine the basic food groups to sugar, fats, and sugar. “Enough” is redefined as “stuffed.” Get back to a healthy diet with reasonable portions. Add a walk at least once a day and a more regular bedtime. Regular routines of self-care may have disappeared over the past month but you can reclaim them.

Take a meditative few minutes a couple times a day. Focus on what did go right over the holidays. It’s an old-fashioned idea but “counting your blessings” is an antidote to the blues. Kids home for the week? Get down on the floor and enjoy kid time. Play with the blocks and Legos. Help the kids make a fort or tent with the couch cushions. Read together. Play video games, watch a movie, play some music together. Honestly just be grateful for the time you get to spend with them.

Call a friend. Steer the conversations away from a festival of complaints and commiseration to a lively conversation of what has been going well and what you can laugh about. Sharing humor is a great way to lift the spirits.

Make a pact with yourself to do something small but positive for yourself at least five times a day. Stay in that hot shower a few extra minutes. Get nicely dressed and comb your hair. Make the bed up clean. Straighten up your kitchen. Make yourself a cup of tea and let yourself have 10 minutes to savor it. It’s letting yourself follow the Parks and Recreation “Treat Yourself” rule.

Arrange things to look forward to. This is something that I do even away from the holidays. The holidays aren’t the end of the world, they are only the end of the holidays. Try and shift the focus from the holidays to everyday things that give us pleasure. Make a coffee date with a friend or a movie date with your spouse. Set things, even small things, on the horizon to look forward to in small increments to get yourself through, week by week. Step by step.

Thanks for listening!
– Lilly