Invent a holiday for which your character is a big fan
Susie licked her lips again, savoring the fresh, crisp taste of peppermint. The candy cane was down to a slivered point, but the wonderful pepperminty flavor was still there.
Candy Cane Day has always been her favorite holiday - second only to Christmas. Falling on the first Friday after a full moon after Thanksgiving, Candy Cane Day typically fell before Christmas. Only once in her lifetime had this holiday fallen after Christmas, but she had been too young to remember this.
Susie would start collecting candy canes immediately after Halloween - all shapes and sizes of candy canes. There were the traditional red and white ones, but also green and red, green and black, and sometimes just solid colors. Most were the traditional shape of a shepherd's hook, but she held a special fondness in her heart for the log rolls. These canes were straight and as big around as the miniature Louisville Slugger she displayed in her room. Her grandmother always gave you a log rolled candy cane and Susie could eat on the stick for weeks before it disappeared.
Standing in the front yard, she stared at the lovely cedar tree growing near the mailbox. This tree was the same age as she - 31 years - and was a volunteer seedling that appeared the same year she was born. Her parents had left the tree growing and now it stood over 20 feet tall. This was Susie's favorite tree.
Her parents had been gone now for almost 3 years, but Susie would continue the tradition of hanging candy canes from the cedar tree. It reminded her of the parents she missed so much - and it helped her to celebrate Candy Cane Day.