Author: Arleen M. Kaptur
Holiday Candles - ever popular and even indispensable in many homes - winter weather can create havoc with electrical systems and power sources. Candles - just about the purest and warmest Christmas light - a glow that illuminates and lingers - a symbol of friendship and love and at the very center of many memories.
A white pillar candle surrounded with cinnamon sticks tied gently with raffia - surrounded with holly, berries, and pomegranites. At dinnertime, their glow brightens the table and reflects the joy in those sitting around and truly enjoying the entrees presented. Many candles are scented and bring pine, ginger, and other aromas to your home. Use these abundantly on mantels, tabletops, and shelves, but should not be used on dining tables. The scents can interfere with the wonderful odors of foods cooked lovingly and presented in spectacular dress. Let the food shine in its own right, while the candles embrace and respond to rave reviews in other places in your home.
Candles can be wrapped in metallic gift wrap, stain glass paper, and other decorative holiday accents. They can even be stenciled - plain candles can join an elegant celebration with a touch or whimsy using stencils and spray paint. A bit of lace and ribbon and a Victorial candle emerges from a simple taper. Candles can even be sponged with patterns and motifs that can range from Shaker to dramatic.
Filigreed candles protect the flame and create patterns of light with the punched holes and as the candles burn they glow with the decorative lines, curly swirls, glass nuggets, and jewel-like beads inserted in the holes. From glass to metal, tiny multi-colored baubles add dimension and a rainbow of colored lights to dark corners and areas whre a bit of cheer is needed.
Even the holders themselves can be decorated and "aged" to keep in step with the Holiday theme you have selected for your home. A bit of paint and patina can mellow candle holders that you found at tag sales and resale shops. Gold paint, crackle varnish, and antique wax - a few supplies and your candles will be cradled in holders reminiscent of a bygone era. A candle ring can use the greenery, fruit and vegetables of the season. From spicy cinnamon sticks to sliced and dried fruit, dried cranberries to gooseberries and raspberries, ivies, and Christmas roses, your imagination can transform a bit of wire and floral foam into accents that resemble royalty and are beautiful to behold.
Ribbons of green or red tartan, frosted cherries, and leaves touched with a kiss of snow, as well as pinecones, sprigs of evergreen, cedar, or pine, and not only are the candles a focal point but they emit the scents of a Holiday that can warm and enthrall family and guests.