How Christmas and Candy Came to Be

By Matt Porter

December 24, 2012 Updated Dec 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM EDT

Montrose, PA (WBNG Binghamton) In the US, Americans spent more than $9 billion in candy during the last Christmas season.

Making candy the 4th largest food category behind soda, milk, and bread.

But, the traditions of candy and Christmas started centuries ago in Germany.

Leopold Schreiber, a chocolatier in Montrose, said the German's had a tremendous passion for Christmas.

"It was a huge holiday," Schreiber said. "They had the festival of lights that goes with Christmas, and it was just a time of celebration."

Germans mixed their love of chocolate with their talents of metal work.

Crafting detailed molds from "Kringles" to Tannenbaums.

Schreiber showed the detailed work of a Santa mold in his factory store.

"This original mold is from Germany, but it started out, they would make this same style, two inches, and it would keep going up to four feet," he said.

Christmas candy has come a long way since 400 years ago when a German choirmaster asked candy makers to make a special candy, shaped like a shepherd's hook, to keep his students quiet during the long Nativity Mass.

And today, molding is a mainstay for chocolate novelties across the world.

"Even to this day," said Schreiber, "A lot of molds still come from Germany."

Schreiber said he sees candy sales at Christmas growing every year.

"Through my career in candy making," he said, "Each year it seems to get more and more popular."

Adding sweetness to an already joyful season.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.