Are you pondering what to do with all the leftover candy and goodies from the holidays? Growing up with resourceful depression era parents and grandparents I learned from an early age how to use and reuse whatever was in the house. If our household couldn't use it then it was passed on to neighbors or other family members. If your candy and goodies are still factory sealed and aren't past expiration or your loved ones won't or can't consume any of it, I suggest you take it to your workplace, church group, etc. to share. Many residential care facilities, the Boys and Girls Club, daycare facilities or any other public and private service organizations might be more than willing to accept your edible donations. Just be certain to check with each individual organization before donating your goodies to make sure they are able to accept such donations.
Another use for leftover candy canes I found some years ago when I read an article on homeopathic , biodegradable ways to deter snakes and wildlife from yards and gardens. As a residence of rural southern Butler County I share my land with many species of animals and pests, some wanted, some despised. Over the years I've tried many types of natural or homemade deterrents to no avail. The article mentioned using crushed peppermints spread around the perimeter of your home and garden to keep snakes and other wildlife from invading your spaces. Seems these pests don't take kindly to the scent of peppermint oil, or so it reads. So I tried it for myself the past two springs and summers. After all the Christmas trimmings came down I unwrapped all the leftover candy canes (the peppermint kind) and tossed them into a large zip top baggie and whacked them with my rolling pin a few times breaking them into chunks. You don't want them too fine or the pieces will just disintegrate into the dirt and grass when you spread them. I tossed a small amount of them around the foundation of my house and entry ways. One caveat is you must toss some of the peppermints several times during a season as they are made of sugar and will get dissolved by the elements. (Tip: hit the after Christmas sales and stock up. Just remember peppermint flavor only.) Believe it or not, I only saw one or two little bitty slithering friends over these past two mowing seasons, and they were not near my foundation but farther out in the yard. Try it for yourself and email me your results at email@example.com. Good luck!