Crafting Corn

Crafting Corn

Seasonal Items and Stories


Before items were mass produced people made items from the materials available to decorate banches in Winter. Straw was a readily available material. Hisotrically, Christmas trees were 'late' to be introduced to the UK. Consequently many of these items have their origins abroad.   

Straw Stars

The legend

When Jesus’s birth was announced to the shepherds, they made their way from the hills of Judea to seek out the new born child. He had been born in a stable in Bethlehem and laid in a manger.  As they journeyed, they wondered what they might offer this special child, as a token of their homage. One shepherd planned to give a woolly sheepskin to keep the baby warm; another decided to give a container of nourishing sheep’s milk. But the youngest shepherd boy felt he had nothing to give. 


The journey took several days and they had to rest on route. One evening as the little shepherd boy lay dozing, a beam of light fell on some straw causing it to sparkle. He was inspired. He would make a star from straw to present to the baby. He took a shepherd’s knife from his pocket and immediately set to work, cutting the stalks to even lengths and binding them together with a loose length of wool pulled from his jacket. When they eventually arrived at the stable in Bethlem the shepherd boy proudly presented the straw star to baby Jesus  


The legend

On the shepherd's journey to Bethlehem they passed a little blind boy sitting on the side of the road. Sadly no one had time for him even though he begged to be led to the place where Jesus had been born.


When the crowds had passed and all was quiet again the blind boy heard the tinkling sound of a bell. He wondered if it was possible that the cow wearing the bells was in the very place where Jesus had been born.
So picking up his few belonging, he carefully followed the sound of the bell which led him to that very stable.
Ever since, bells have been part of Christmas decorations and have called people to worship.  

The Candy Cane 

The myth.

One dreary November evening a stranger rode up to an empty store. The windows were boarded. There were locks on the door and the whole place was in poor repair, but the stranger declared it adequate and disappeared inside.
For a whole month, he was never seen, although there were plenty of noises from within the store and in time delicious scents wafting over the village. The villagers speculated about what was happening inside. No one dared knock on the door. No one ever asked if he needed anything. They just waited and speculated.  
However the children of the village were a little more curious and one day decided to knock upon the door and offer some help.


Inside they saw a large counter and dozens and dozens of boxes and crates.

'Can you help me unpack?' asked the man.
Carefully they opened the crates and boxes and inside found jars and jars of candy sticks.
Wide eyed, they asked the stranger what they were for, and so he explained............
......... they are shaped like a J for Jesus
.........turn them over and the shape reminds you of a shepherd's crook. The shepherds were among the first people to visit baby Jesus.
.........the red strips remind us of the terrible suffering he endured at the end of his life.
.........the flavour is peppermint which is similar to hyssop used for purification

From that day on the candy cane has been reproduced as an item for the Christmas Tree


A feast day which is widely observed by the Irish, the Scottish and on the Isle of Man. It falls halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox so celebrations take place near February 1st.


St Brigid's Cross

About St. Brigid

St Brigid was born in 451. Her father was a Druid priest but her mother was a Christian. St Brigid followed the Christian faith.
As a young girl, Brigid was devoted to the Catholic Church .She allegedly performed many miracles throughout her life and was renown for her compassion and love to the sick and poor. Once when she was summoned to the deathbed of a dying pagan lord, who may or may not have been her Father, she wove a cross from reeds as she kept vigil to explain her Christian faith. 
When she died on February 1st, she was buried beside St. Patrick and crosses are woven by the Irish on her feast day, from reeds or straw. 
Interesting, in 1969 she was decanonised. However in 2022 the Irish Government announced a new bank holiday on St Brigid’s. The first festival took place in 2023.