Sweets for children at Christmastime have always been a ubiquitous part of the holiday celebration. So it’s little wonder that candy containers were made in all shapes and sizes, and from many different materials.
Christmas trees of the early 19th century were adorned with cookies, fruits and nuts, and cones where poeple could place small confections. Beginning around 1870, Dresden paper animal heads and other Dresden ornaments often came with small silk bags that usually held a single treat.
Out of the German toy industry in the 1880’s emerged figures made of cotton or paper mache that sat on top of boxes, snowballs, logs or some other form that could hold candy (such as ones made by the toy manufacturer, Heubach). Some of the more elaborate candy containers were extremely detailed reindeer or Father Christmas figures that separated at the waist, concealing a cylinder that held the candy. Some separated at the neck and the candy could be stored in the body. Still other Santa figures held candy in small baskets attached to their back or belt, or even transported their sweets in a wicker car or moss-covered sleigh.
Regardless of their shape or size, it’s fun to imagine the surprise and delight on a child’s face to find one of these treasures on Christmas morning.