family fun

Sweets: Giving Out Candy Canes as a Thank You for Kindness

my worldraising giving childrenfamily funfamily fun-traditions

What are the holidays without sweets? And what is Christmas without giving? One of the family traditions we've found most memorable, not to mention fun, this time of year is passing out sweet treats throughout December to thank people for their kindness.

How to Make Reindeer Candy Canes

Below is a list of supplies and step-by-step instructions for how to make the perfect reindeer candy canes to pass out to people this holiday season.


To complete this project, you'll need the following:

  • Brown pipe cleaners
  • Small red pom poms
  • Small googly eyes
  • Small bells
  • Glue and glue gun or double sided tape (hot glue works best)
  • Tag
  • Cardstock
  • Printer


To make reindeer candy canes, follow these simple steps:

1. Wrap one brown pipe cleaner around the top of the curved part of the candy cane. Get creative and shape the antlers however you'd like!

2. Using a glue gun and hot glue or double sided tape, place the googly eyes below the antlers side by side and the red pom pom beneath them for the nose.

3. Thread the small bells onto the tips of the antlers.

4. Create a tag using a piece of cardstock and your printer with a phrase such as: "Happy Holidays! Thanks for Your Service!" Or, "Thanks for brightening up my day. Happy Holidays!" Or, "I appreciate your kindness. Merry Christmas!"

5. Once you have converted all of your candy canes into reindeer, divvy them up in the bags, giving an equal amount to each child. Then store them in the car and encourage everyone to hand them out to people who are kind to them during the holidays as a way of thanking them.

Tip! My boys are shy and when they were little, they had such a hard time. My suggestion, if this is the case for you, is to go with them and encourage them until they can do it themselves. The first time someone gets a surprised smile on their face and says thank you, they will want to find more and more people to pass them out to. It is contagious!

What do you and your family do to reward people for their kindness during the holiday season? How do you spread the Christmas spirit?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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