Casey’s Candy Cane (by ElayneA)

Summary:  Not everyone has a family and Christmas can be a sad time. The Cartwrights throw a wonderful party where a special person gets a very special gift.
Rating: G Words 2065
Written for the 2022 Bonanza Brand Advent Calendar



~*~*~ Advent Calendar ~*~*~

* Day 6 *

Casey’s Candy Cane

“Hey, guys breakfast is ready! What’s up with you three?” I shouted. Looking over at Hop Sing, I asked, “Good enough?”

Hop Sing muttered, “Why they late? Always late. Food cold,” as he left the room.

I joined Ben at the table and together we watched the three come down. Adam looked grumpy. Hoss stretched and yawned big enough to swallow Little Joe who stumbled in front of him with eyes half closed.

“Come on, come on, we have planning to do today,” growled Ben.

Hoss grabbed some toast. “Is it about the orphanage Christmas party?”

Adam leaned over his cup and waved his finger.  “Why don’t you two just tell us what to do. Wifey here has everything planned out.”

“Oh, grumpy, grumpy.” Ben looked over at us.

Defending myself, I said, “I was just making notes. I only got up a few times.”

Adam held up five fingers. “I would put up more, but I need my other hand hold my cup.” He had that vampire look.

Mmmm,wonder who has the honour of that look? Oh, wait it’s me. Chuckling to myself, I said, ” Whatever, Cowboy.”

Ben said, “Stop the both of you. Hoss when you’re done, hopefully this year, you can hitch the carriage up. Joseph, are you helping Adam with the farriering?”

Silence. We all looked over at Little Joe trying hard to keep his eyes open. His head nodding. Hop Sing came out. “No.3 son going down.” Joe lost his battle, his head went down, scrambled eggs his new pillow. Giggling we got up quietly and left him.


Ben and I were greeted by the Kindles.

“The children are in classes for the next thirty minutes, giving us time to chat, coffee and muffins,” said Mr. Kindle as he led the way to the kitchen.

Munching on his muffin Ben pointed to me. “Tell him your plan.”

Putting down my coffee cup, I said, “In the past years Mrs. Henry, ran the show the way it suited her.”

Mrs. Kindle added, “She does like to run things.”

“Hmmm, well she can rule her own roost,” I said, ignoring Ben’s looks.  “I have an envelope here with the children’s names. The first one picked will get to choose a theme. Then we will draw five others to help with the decorations getting them more involved.”

“Your boys like this idea as well?” Mr .Kindle asked.

Ben said, “Didn’t have a chance, one fell asleep in his eggs, one imitated one of the seven dwarfs and the last one put the state of Nevada in a famine. So, no.”

The class bell rang, and we were met by children running in the hall, laughing and yelling, “No more math!”

Mr. Kindle clapped his hands. “Children, in the dining room, let’s go.”

‘Hello Mr. Cartwright. Hello Mrs. Cartwright.”

“Hello children, how are you?”

“Fine thank you, Sir,” they said in unison.

“Well, I’m not. I have to write a hundred lines.” Nancy pouted.

Mrs. James said, “You were warned about your disruptive and rude behaviour.”

“I’m pretty, I shouldn’t have to do lines.”

‘Yeah, your face looks like a town’s clock that struck thirteen,” a boy shouted from the back. Laughter exploded.

“Children, children,” one of the teachers said, quieting them down. “Andrew, come and see me after this.”

I looked over at Ben. Seeing his jaw tremble didn’t help me either as both of us were trying to keep a straight face.

“I have an envelope with your names in it.  Ben, I mean Mr. Cartwright, will draw some names. The first one picked will be the winner and will pick a theme from the board. Then five more, will join the winner to stay overnight and help us decorate for YOUR party.”

Amid the loud hooting and clapping, Ben shooked the envelope and pulled out the first name.  “Casey gets to pick the theme. She will be joined by Joshua, Allison, Mark, Daniel and last but not least Caroline.”

Casey came over to the board.  Ben asked, “what will it be?”

“I like candy canes,” she said, smiling up at him.

Picking her up, Ben announced, “Candy Canes it is.”


Banging on a horse shoe, Adam looked up,” How did it go?”

“So, the theme is Candy Canes.”

“Okay,” he said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

“Casey won.”

“Nice kid, how about the others? Nancy in the group?”

“No. Ben pulled the names from the envelope.”

Adam turned completely around, cocked his head at me. “You rigged it?”

‘What?” I said, folding my arms. “You think me, little ole me, would do that?”

“Do you honestly want me to answer that?” he said, raising an eyebrow.

“She came up and rudely asked to see the envelope. I gave it to her. She looked in it, found her name, threw it on the floor, pushed Casey and stomped upstairs, slamming at least four doors.  Boy can she slam a door!  That’s how it went down,” I said innocently.

Adam cracked his neck. “MMmm. Have any ideas what to do for decorations?”

“But of course,” I said, escaping to house before I got a lecture.

Adam looked at Ben. “You’re quiet.”

Ben watched Adam stoke the fire. Rubbing his chin, he reached into his jacket and threw two envelopes into the flames.

Adam shook his head. “Partners in crime, Pa, partners in crime. That’s jail time.”

Both laughed. “Don’t tell Roy.”


Hoss and Adam decorated the trees leading into the ranch to look like candy canes, beautiful job. Little Joe and Ben made about a hundred wooden canes, all different sizes. Hop Sing managed to get red and white Chinese lanterns. Most of the grunt work was done before Ben went to get the children.

Little Joe said, “I moved the boys’ cots into my and Hoss’s rooms. The girls will be with you, and Adam will bunk in with Pa.”

I got the tree stuff ready, all of Santa’s gifts were wrapped in red and White, all done by a special by elf (me) and hidden in the barn.

Hop Sing came and stood by me in the Kitchen. We had the makings of a candy factory. We both stood back and observed the scene.

“We’re a little short on green food colouring,” I said.  “Oh well, we can use the purple.”

“Candy canes of many colours,” chuckled Hop Sing.


“Let’s get you settled first, then we will have sandwiches by the fireplace while we make our plans, “Ben said getting the children inside.

Hop Sing came out with the meal and joined us. Adam stood up with a list “We will start by moving the furniture.” Looking over at me, he said, “You and our guests can start the tree.”

Daniel raised his hand. “Who’s going to put the star on?”

“We’re leaving that for later.” Adam smiled.

The saying that extra hands make light work, was not meant for this situation. When we finally got the tree decorated, we all stood back. It most certainly looked like a candy cane. No ornaments, just Christmas rope.

“Are we going to put candy canes on the tree?” asked Daniel.

Adam replied, “The powers to be said no, and we don’t want people to mess with our tree. We’re making treats any way.”

‘Oh yeah.”

Hop Sing came into the room and clapped his hands. “Time to come, need to get started.”

In the kitchen, he gave everyone an apron with their name on it, even one big enough for Hoss. There were four tables set up, a muffin table, a bread and buns table, and two candy cane stations. As candy canes are like taffy to pull, we put Hoss and Adam at those tables. Everyone rotated around the tables. Our little guests were troopers, but we could see that they were getting tired. Little Joe, Hoss, Adam, and Ben carried them upstairs while I stayed with Hop Sing. I raised my head. “Hop Sing, you’re tired, there is only about twenty minutes left. Adam and I can take care of it.”

“You are sure, No 1 son? Remember kitchen?”

“Yes, I remember Nos. 2 and 3 were also there. I’ll keep an eye on him.”

‘I heard my name in vain.” Adam laughed. “Rest well Hop Sing.”

Adam and I finished off and cleaned the kitchen. Reaching over, massaging my shoulders, he leaned in and whispered, “Going to miss your snoring.”


The guests started to arrive. Ben had his special punch ready and all of the treats were out, including savoury ones. The Cartwright men were dressed to the nines. Adam giving his brothers instruction on how to sing, what to sing, and when to sing. Not that they listen to him anyway. The party went smoothly, the children were on their best behaviour except for one who will remain nameless. Mrs. Henry, quite put out that she didn’t have her fingers in the pie, tisked and rolled her eyes at everything.


“Yes, Daniel,” Adam said, ‘bending down to listen to him.

“How is Santa going to get here? There’s no snow.”

“He’s magic,” Adam answered, which seemed to satisfy the boy as he moved on to eye up the sweet tables.

“Santa is here!”

Santa arrived and was greeted with whistles, salutations, clapping and happy squeals from the children.

“Ho, Ho, Ho! I thought I took a wrong turn and was back home with all these candy canes. I needed to borrow some for Mrs. Claus.”

Ben said, “Sit nicely in a semi-circle, so that Santa can give you your gifts.”

Then someone yelled, “It’s snowing!” Everyone ran to the windows.

“Okay, let’s get back to presents,” Ben said, clapping his hands.

Adam and I were standing at the back. He leaned over, “it’s coming down heavy and they’re not here.” Just as he spoke, the door opened, they walked in. Adam and I met them.

“Sorry about being so late. The horse threw a shoe,” Mr. Matts said, brushing the snow off his shoulders.

‘No worries, we’ll take care of that,” Adam said.

“Well, you arrived safely. Santa is just giving out the gifts now,” I said taking Mrs. Matts arm.

“There’s no star on the tree.” Nancy pointed in her pouty way.

‘Yes, there is a reason for that.” Hoss looked at her crossly.

Mrs. Henry whispered behind her hand to the lady next to her.  “Wouldn’t have happened if I was in charge. What an upstart his wife is,” she said, not realizing that Adam and I were behind her.


Casey came up to me, but before she could say anything, Nasty Nancy came up. “Look what I got. Where is your gift?” and flounced off. I could hear Adam growling.

Casey looked at me. “Santa forgot me, but that’s okay. What I had ask for would be hard for him to give me.”

Santa called Mrs. and Mr. Matts over to him.

“Oh, they are good people, I have met them.” Casey smiled.

I looked over at Ben, who winked.

Santa said, “They would like to say something.”

The Matts both stepped in front of Casey, who turned to look at us. I gestured for her to look back. Mr. Matts knelt down and pulled her to sit on his knee. “We would like to have you as our little girl. We wondered if we could be your ma and pa?”

Casey exclaimed, “Thank You Santa, you did read my letter, how I wished for Matts to be my parents.”

Ben stepped forward, handing the Christmas star to her. “Would you do us the honour of placing it on the tree, Casey?”

Mr. Matts held her up to place it. The party continued with merriment for a few hours after. Little Joe came and stood by me, looking over my shoulder, he said, “Adam is having a chat with Mrs. Henry. He must be flirting with her as she very red in the face.” Both of us giggled.


Adam sucked on a candy cane as we crawled into bed. Shaking my head, I said, “You’re worse than the children. Don’t come crying to me when you have a tummy and a tooth ache.” He just continued to munch on his cane, and smiling took off his burgundy robe, revealing the ugliest candy cane pajamas ever. I leaned back on the pillow laughing. “Those need to be burned.”

I continued on with my chatter. “Tomorrow we will put up the family tree. Ahh,” I sighed. “We should sleep like logs tonight.”


Leaning up on my elbow, I watched Adam sleep.  I gently removed the candy cane from his mouth and kissed him. “Good night my candy Cane.”

The End

Author’s Notes:

** The very first orphanage in Nevada was located in Virginia City and operated by the Sisters of Charity. It opened in 1867, but after a couple years, the legislature decided that taking care of homeless children was the State’s job, so a new home was built in Carson City.

Ref:Carsonpedia-Nevada State Children’s Home. (last modified, June 20th 2012)

**The orphanage at our Christmas party was still privately funded.

My word – Candy Cane.

My person – Adam.


Link to the 2022 Bonanza Brand Advent Calendar – Day 7 – How Traditions are Born (by ElayneA)


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Author: VCLS

The Virginia City Literary Society occasionally sponsors literary exercises and challenges of a collaborative nature which result in stories or poems for publication. Works involving multiple authors will be published by the Society under the name "VCLS" and reference the individual authors in the story notes.

2 thoughts on “Casey’s Candy Cane (by ElayneA)

  1. A great Merry Christmas story and a wonderful gift for your readers. Thank you and a late Merry Christmas to you!

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