Candles have long been a part of the seasonal celebration.
Learn more about their history as well as creative ways to use candles in your holiday decor.
Candles have been used to symbolize family, friendship and holiday spirit for hundreds of years.
Small candles to light up the Christmas tree were used as far back as the XVII century. Over the next several hundred years this tradition was established in Germany and then throughout Eastern Europe.
Candles were placed on Christmas trees during the Victorian era, symbolizing the Star of Wonder. At first they were glued with melted wax to a tree branch, or attached with pins.
Candle holders came into play around 1890, and by 1914 Christmas candles were placed in lanterns and small glass balls on the tree.
A bundle of pine-oil perfumed tapers, tied together with ribbon was given as a holiday gift to loyal customers in the 1800’s by grocers and candle makers, a tradition that is still very popular today.
Who doesn’t enjoy and appreciate a beautiful holiday candle presented as a gift during the Christmas season?
Christmas Holiday Decorating Ideas
In the United States the tradition of placing a candle in the window was initiated in Colonial times, and symbolizes the warmth, security and also speaks of loved ones who are not at home during the holidays.
It is not surprising that candles are still an integral part of holiday decorating. They are beautiful, warm, inviting, versatile, colorful and many times inexpensive.
If you are on a budget and looking for ways to decorate your home, Christmas candles will most certainly be part of the plan.
NOTE: Before we look at some of the ways to use candles in holiday decorating, a word of caution. Be very, very careful when lighting candles. I know...it’s something we are all aware of.
But I just have to say it anyway. If you are not going to be right there to watch your beautiful candles glow in all of their holiday splendor, don’t light them.
Ok, got that out of the way. Now, here are some ideas for you to help inspire your holiday creativity:
Arrange your candle displays in groups of 3
What I mean is, use three elements in your display. The candles themselves are lovely of course, but add two other elements for interest and cohesiveness.
For example, if you have a window display, use candles, greenery and small white lights wound in and through the greenery. Three elements. Much more complete, and beautiful, than candles alone.
Vary the height, size and shape of the candles.
What would you prefer to see...
1) Five single white tapers in identical candle holders, lined up in a row on the mantel.
2) A candle in the shape of an angel resting on a lace doily, a single taper in a short crystal candle holder and a trio of snowball shaped candles, all five grouped together, staggered in their placement. Add a few small sprays of delicate pine branch greenery and you have created a beautiful display with personality and charm.
Use colors that complement your home and holiday decor.
Christmas candles are available in just about every color you can imagine...size and shape, too. Think beyond traditional holiday colors and coordinate your candle displays with the rest of your home. It may require a bit more planning and searching, but the result is well worth the effort.
Find treasures in your home to set the candles into, around, and on top of, to create unique displays.
There are no rules for displaying candles other than to be safe with the flame if they’re lit, so experiment with different media to come up with your own vision.
Want a bit more inspiration? Here are some creative and simple ideas like the photo below, from our friends at Better Homes and Gardens...BHG.com