It’s time to light up the holidays. Real Simple showcases over 30 ideas to make your house glow from December to the New Year and all throughout 2012.
Traditionally, candles adorn the centerpiece of a table. But consider using them on the fireplace mantle, the stairs, and other oft-forgotten areas. The magazine’s slide show features luminaries in various sizes and colors. Candle holders and candelabras also give way to interesting vessels — glassware, jelly jars, and cake stands. The possibilities are endless.
Today, most candles are made of paraffin (a byproduct of petroleum refining), beeswax (a byproduct of honey collection), gel (a mixture of resin and mineral oil), and plant waxes (like palm or soybean). What kind of candle is ideal for longer burning? For households with young children or members with allergies, beeswax and highly refined paraffin wax candles are ideal choices, as they tend to burn more cleanly and release fewer particulates. Green households can rest assured that soy and paraffin wax candles are biodegradable, and natural waxes have a neutral carbon footprint.
Some candle do’s and don’ts: If your candle is smoking, trim the wick to about 6 millimeters or shorter. And when hosting a dinner party, light the unscented candles, as fragrances will confuse your guests’ olfactories.