I’m Holly Lebowitz Rossi, writer of the Guideposts blog, A Positive Path. Let’s talk about safe, cozy ways to use candles to bring warmth and peace into your home this winter.
Safety first, tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
Place candles at a safe distance from anything that can catch on fire. This includes drapes, furniture, bedding, paper, kids and pets, long hair and loose clothing.
Set up your candles away from drafts and heating vents.
Don’t move a lit candle while the hot wax is still liquid.
Have a shallow dish of water handy to douse any lit matches.
And never leave a burning candle unattended. Wait until the wick is no longer glowing before you leave the room.
If you’re unsure about safety, you could try an LED candle, which isn’t quite the real thing, but definitely lends a room a cozy, candlelit feeling and is completely safe.
Now that we’re safe and sound, let’s get cozy with our candles.
Well first, the rule of “three’s,” which is a design principle that odd numbers of objects is more aesthetically pleasing than even numbers of objects. So think about displaying a cluster of an odd number of candles to increase the impact of each one’s light.
Next, consider using candles of different heights to bring more interest to your display. There are many options here. There are thick pillar candles, elegant tapers, and there are these sweet little votives and tea lights, each of which come in different heights and can be paired to make a pleasing arrangement.
Next, think about where you’ll set your candles up for safety, easy cleanup and aesthetics. You can increase the light and beauty of your candle display by placing them on a mirrored surface or a decorative plate. There are many that are made just for this purpose.
A lot of candles come in their own decorative containers, which is another way to create the cozy mood that’s most pleasing to you.
Now, a word about scent. Personally, I’m prone to headaches if I light very heavily scented candles, particularly if the candle is made of petroleum-based paraffin rather than vegetable-based candle wax. If you enjoy scented candles, seek out fragrances that match the mood you’re going for.
You might prefer an energizing scent like lemon or rosemary, or chill out as you warm up with cinnamon or lavender to cue you to relax.
Finally, make a moment of lighting your candles. In these challenging times, I like to think of the oft-quoted maxim: it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. A candle is a powerful symbol—its light can seem tiny and fragile, but it has the power to illuminate dark places, and to warm cold ones.
I love my lighter for quick and easy candle lighting. But lately, I find myself reaching for the old-fashioned matchbox. I like the feeling of using just enough of my own strength and power to create a literal spark, to bring the light into being, and then to gently place that small flame on the waiting wick of my candle. And with that, I wish you warmth, brightness and authentic positivity today and every day.