Christmas tree candles are on a comeback course. The classic candles and simple metal candle holders your great-grandparents used to adorn their tree every year slipped off the market about 90 years ago when electric lights swept the country. But if the initial buzz early this holiday season is any indication, the classic Christmas tree candle is on its way back.
Using real candles for holiday decorating has cross-cutting appeal. The Christmas tree candle, lowly and simple as it is, transcends aesthetic, political and historical fault lines.
Geeks and style scouts like Christmas candles and the metal candle holders that go with them for their gadget appeal and because at first glance they feel like something new and different. Homebodies and designers like them from a decorating point of view because they fit in with Victorian, Country, Lodge or any one of several other Christmas design themes. The historically-minded like the idea of reviving this traditional practice and keeping it alive. Families who want to shed some of the glitz and glam of the holidays like them because they’re simple, low-tech and beautiful. And environmentally-conscious Christmas connoisseurs are drawn to Christmas tree candles because they’re 100% green – even more earth friendly than LED Christmas lights.
Regardless what may be drawing you to the idea of decorating your tree with candle clips and candles this year, if you’ve decided to do it, buy them early in the season.
Since these products are teetering on the verge of extinction, it comes as no surprise that they’re difficult to find locally. You can make the rounds and ask, but they vanished from gift shops and hardware stores decades ago, though you could get lucky. You won’t find them at your local mall. Even specialty shops that feature candles, Christmas decorations, wreaths, lights and other holiday items rarely, if ever, stock them.
The best place to buy Christmas tree candle holders, pendulum holders and candles is from a reputable, experienced shop on the internet. Make sure the products you are looking at are imported from Germany. Germans have been making decorations like these for years and theirs are the best. Why go with a cheaper import when you can get the real thing? You will want to consider what kind of holders you like best. Here are some of the basic choices:
Clip-On Christmas Tree Candle Holder or Candle Clip This holder has a spring clamp that grips the tree limb and steadies the holder. It includes a wax catcher and adjustable base. Clip on holders are usually available in a pine cone or scallop design. You can usually find them in a silver or gold finish.
Pendulum Christmas Tree Candle Holder with Pine Cone Weight This traditional hanging candle holder was used before the candle clips. It has a stem that loops over the limb and a pine cone counterweight to keep the candle vertical. Pendulum Christmas Tree Candle Holder with Kugel This is a hanging holder with a stem and counterweight shaped as a “Kugel” or ball.
Pendulum Christmas Tree Candle Holder with Star A hanging candle holder with a stem and dangling counterweight in the shape of a star.
Christmas Tree Candles These are specialty candles from Germany made expressly to fit candle holders. They are usually available in red and white. Make sure to purchase the correct candles. Don’t cut corners or try to substitute another size. The candle must fit firmly and snugly in the base. Birthday and party candles are too small. Dining candles are too long and fat. Votives and religious candles are also too big. If you’re sure to buy original German-made Christmas tree candles, you can’t go wrong.
Go ahead — channel your great-grandparents this year, and experience Christmas the way they did. Regardless whether you choose clip-on Christmas candles or one of the pendulum candle holders, your Christmas tree will never look better and you will remember it all year long.. –
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