Friday, December 28, 2012

...You Would Even Say It Glows

This post is pure "practical" and "pragmatic"... a follow-up to my previous post about candles.

First of all, since it was Christmas dinner at my mother's house, it qualified as a special occasion... and thus warranted candles even in Mom's book. We ate by candlelight--festive red tapers burning brightly at each end of the table. It was lovely!

The amusing part came later. One of my fun "happy" gifts to my parents included Yankee Candles: a large "First Down"--yes, as in football--candle for my father, and a couple of small holiday-scented ones for my mother, stuffed down into some Santa pants that Yankee Candle had had as part of a special promotion for Christmas. When they opened them, my mom said, "Well, in light of that, you should open this present!" and proceeded to hand me a Yankee Candle as well!

When I tried to get my father to light his candle--wanting to smell this warm, comfortable "man-scent" actually burning and not just while sniffing the lid--my mom piped in with something to the effect that we needed to light my pine-scented one since it smelled so wonderful and Christmas-y. (She had bought the same Balsam & Cedar candle for my sister, who had ignited it immediately and left it burning most of the day during their celebrations in Atlanta.  Love that girl!)

Happy to oblige--but unwilling to let the opportunity go by to actually get their candle burning, too, instead of sitting there as decoration!--I lit mine and got Dad to light his. We kept one in the living room and took one to the kitchen.  I proceeded to explain to them that they needed to allow the candles to burn until the wax had melted to liquid all the way across the top so as to maximize their life. They had never heard of this "rule" of cande-burning, even though they had bought their gift candles at the Yankee Candle store, which is where I first heard of it, I'm sure. (I think they told me it usually takes the large jar candles about two hours to get melted evenly across--I find that it doesn't take quite that long, but we usually burn them for at least that long at a time anyway.)

Mom wanted to make sure that my sister knew this rule and asked me to call her to tell her.  I did, and she did--and, in fact, her wonderful pine-scented gift of a candle is already gone, burned frequently throughout all the days of their December to brighten their home and make it festive and warm.  She's a candle-burner, too, and had loved this particular gift from my mom!

So, since my mom--a newbie to actual burning of the candles--didn't know this, I figured I'd post it here in case someone else doesn't know it. Here's the "practical" and "pragmatic" I promised earlier...

Here's a picture, from their website, of a Yankee Candle--and indeed, it would apply to any other chunky candle, as well-- improperly handled in the burning department:

Notice how it has burned down into a tunnel, leaving much of the candle unburned at the outer edge of the jar. This is caused by lighting the candle for just a little while and not letting it burn until the wax melts all the way across. Once that has been done even once, you're on your way to a ruined candle--do it multiple times and you really will get about a fourth of the life out of the candle as you should have.

Here's a picture of a Yankee Candle almost burned all the way across, but not quite. Notice the little unmelted "lip" of wax on the inside of the jar, off to the right side?  That needs to be allowed to melt, too, so that the melted wax is straight across and liquid before it is blown it out.

So, really, in the midst if all the wonderful and profound things that could be being discussed as we
ponder the reality of Emmanuel, "God with us,"
how to properly burn a candle seems banal and mundane, if not downright trite!

But I love that the Light of the World was born, and lived, and died, to bring us to God!

And I love the special little reminders that bring us joy amid commonplace, everyday living... including--for me--burning candles!

1 comment:

pamela said...

Ooh, this is SO useful! I had no idea! I will share it with my other candle-burning buddy! Oh, and I do know that if you do ruin one, you can melt it in the oven on a very low temperature, reposition the wick, and start all over again! :)