Have you noticed how pervasive Christmas on Steroids has become in the last few years? Ever glitzier high-tech decorations, over-the-top LED Christmas tree lights and gigunda outdoor Christmas displays are dominating the holiday like never before.
Although Bigger-and-Better is the order of the day when it comes to Christmas tree decorations, some people are opting out and trying to re-capture the simple delights of an old-fashioned Christmas.
It’s not hard. One of the best ways to step back from the brink, slow down and restore some sanity to the holidays is to ditch the electric lights and LED Christmas lights and go green. Replace your energy-gobbling lights with Real Christmas Tree Candles. Or use fewer electric lights and add Christmas Candles. Either way, you won’t regret it.
The sight of your Christmas tree awash in the natural glow of real candlelight will stop your friends and family in their tracks and make them go weak in the knees. It’s radiant and indescribably beautiful. Our great-grandparents were on to something. They used Christmas Tree Candles and this is how they experienced Christmas every year.
Let’s say you’ve decided to go green and use Christmas Tree Candles instead of kilowatts this year. Finding genuine Christmas Candles is not easy, because they basically vanished from the market 90 years ago.
But persistence pays off. I discuss various sources in another article I wrote about Christmas lights, but if you want to save time, it’s easiest to order them from a reputable dealer.
There are a couple suppliers in the U.S. who import candles from Germany and sell them online. Track one of them down and order early in the season.
It’s important to bear in mind that you need both the Christmas Candles and the Christmas Tree Candle Holders to go with them. Without the holders, you won’t have a way to mount the candles on your tree.
You can choose one of two kinds of candle holders: the Clip On Christmas Tree Candle Holder, which you clamp on to a branch; or the Pendulum Christmas Tree Candle Holder, which has a stem and a counterweight that you use to balance the holder as it hangs on the Christmas tree. There’s no right or wrong. Pick the model you like best.
You may have decided on candlepower because of the look, or because it’s green, or for any number of other reasons.
But safety has to be your top priority. Whether you decide on Candle Clips or Pendulum Candle Holders, make sure you are careful and, above all, use common sense. Here are eight important tips for decorating your Christmas tree with candles:
1. Make sure you get the right kind of candles. Basically, there’s one right kind of Christmas Candle and a lot of wrong ones. The bottom line: your candle must fit the candle holder.
Tapers, votives and table candles are too fat. Birthday and “gag” candles are much too thin. Don’t try to improvise. Order genuine Christmas Tree Candles when you order your candle holders. That way you’ll be sure you’re getting the right thing.
2. Do a dry run. When your order arrives, take a few candles out of the box and put them in the Candle Clips or Pendulum Candle Holders.
Hold the holders up as if they were on the tree. Does the candle fit snugly? If necessary, bend the tines at the base of the holder inward so they firmly grip the bottom of the candle. You’ll get the hang of it. Your goal is to make sure the candle doesn’t wobble or lean when it comes time to decorate the tree.
3. Carefully attach the Candle Holders to your Christmas Tree. Put them on last — after Christmas bulbs, ornaments, garlands and other decorations. If you are using Clip On Christmas Tree Candle Holders, position them on a limb that is big enough to support them (they’re not heavy) but not so thick that the clamp can’t bite into the limb.
The Christmas Candle Clips have a swivel base. Adjust it when the holder and candle are in place on the tree to make sure the candle is perfectly vertical.
For Pendulum Holders, loop the stem over a branch that is heavy enough to hold the weight and be sure there is enough room below for the counterweight at the end of the stem to freely dangle.
4. Look at the candles and holders once they are on the tree – Make sure you have positioned the candles so they are 100% clear of anything that could catch fire. This includes another limb, other candles, garlands, tinsel or nearby Christmas ornaments. Pay special attention to higher branches.
Are they hanging over the candle in such a way that they could catch fire when the candle is lit? If so, you must move the candle. Make sure it is in a positioned where nothing is above the flame could catch.
5. Start by lighting the highest candles first and then work your way downward. When you’re ready for the special moment, take your time and don’t rush. Don’t try to light as many candles as possible with one match.
If your match is getting near the end, blow it out and light the next few candles with a new match. Step back and take stock again when all the candles are lit. Are all the candles secure and vertical? Are they well out of range of anything that could catch fire? Replace the candles as needed during the holidays.
6. Use common sense and don’t take risks. Never leave the room when the candles are lit – even for a minute. Christmas Tree Candles are not a 24/7 decoration so it’s best to light them periodically through the holidays when you know you will be on hand to enjoy them and you plan to stay.
This might be a party, a family evening around the tree, or Christmas morning when you open presents. Even with these precautions, some people keep a bucket of water nearby just in case. You can consider doing this for peace of mind.
7. Avoid drafts. Keep an eye on the tree if someone opens a door or window or if you make a fire in the fireplace. A sudden gust could pull the flame on the candles in one direction or another, or it could cause them to flame up or burn faster.
8. Enjoy your candle-powered Christmas tree — And treat it with respect. This also goes for kids, toddlers, guests, the Labrador Retriever of the house and the local Kitty. Keep wagging tails at bay.
Explain how special the tree is to overly enthusiastic children. There’s no need to hover. Tell them to step back and take in the sight. They can soak up the steady glow sitting on the couch or curled up on the rug.
Whether you choose hanging Pendulum Candle Holders or Christmas Tree Candle Clips, color candles or white candles, follow these eight tips and use common sense to keep your holiday safe. Your Christmas tree will radiate a mesmerizing glow that you’ll enjoy throughout the entire season.