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Christmas Candles buying guide

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Introduction

The use of Christmas candles as decorations dates back to the 17th century, although candles were used in other rituals long before that. The ancient Romans used candles in their celebrations to honour Saturn, and Pagans used candles during their Yule celebrations. Candles symbolized the light of the sun, farewell to the seasons that have passed, and a welcome to the new season.

With the spread of Christianity, Christmas window candles were often located in the front window of each house to help guide the Christ Child on Christmas Eve. This custom still continues throughout parts of Europe. Christmas candle lights don’t have to carry the inherent fire risk of candles, as you can achieve the same or similar look with electric Christmas candles and battery operated Christmas candles.

Today’s Christmas candles offer a variety of choices, with Christmas scented candles being a popular choice. Common scents include a Christmas cookie candle and Christmas spice candle, both designed to evoke the scents of Christmas. With their high-quality scents, Yankee Christmas candles are one of the most popular brands of scented candles.

You can decorate your holiday celebrations with Christmas table candle during your feast. Pair a classic set of red Christmas candles with lovely Christmas candle rings, and you can even select personalized Christmas candles. These can be a beautiful part of your decorations, or they make a thoughtful gift.

Whatever type of Christmas candles you want, Price Inspector will help you buy the best candles at the cheapest prices. We shop the UK stores to bring you the best deals, and our buying guide will help you find the right candles for you.

Things to consider before buying

  • If you have pets or small children, you might want to consider electric or battery operated Christmas candles. This way you won’t have to worry about them getting knocked over or burning little fingers. Even if you do not have pets or children, never leave candles burning unattended.
  • Consider the scents you are using throughout your home. Scented candles are lovely, but if you have too many, too heavy, or conflicting scents, it can be overwhelming. Try for a common or complementary theme, and don’t cluster too many scented products near each other, especially in a small area.
  • Check that the wicks do not contain lead, which will release in the fumes when the candle is burned.
  • If you buy coloured candles, check whether the coloured wax is solid or just a top coating over a white candle. Either can look good if they aren’t to be burned. However, if you plan to burn the candle, a solid candle is your best choice. As the wax melts, the inner white core will show on a layered candle. Even if you don’t burn the candle, layered candles can become scratched, showing their inner white core.
  • If buying Christmas candles as a gift, you might want to play it safe with unscented candles unless you are sure the recipient likes a particular scent. Some people love candles that mimic the smell of food, while others prefer outdoor scents like pine, and still others prefer unscented candles.

Candle Wax Types

Although early candles used animal fats, those candles didn’t burn well and often had a foul odour. With today’s advancements, there are several other natural waxes that burn longer and cleaner, not to mention smell better.

If you take the time to understand the types of candle waxes, you will make a more informed choice when buying candles. Gel candles are beautiful for decorative purposes, but they can be dangerous. Natural waxes are healthier but more expensive. Paraffin candles are the most common and economic choice, which clear wax candles are healthier than paraffin and safer than gel candles. Whether you want a natural wax candle or synthetic, consider these different types:
  • Bayberry: This is an expensive wax, best used for small candles like tarts and tapers. Bayberry will have an olive appearance, and it’s usually blended with another type of wax because pure bayberry is brittle. The scent of natural bayberry is similar to freshly mown hay. It does not blend well with other fragrances. Bayberry is not one of the more popular choices for Christmas candles.
  • Beeswax, like bayberry, is another expensive natural wax, usually reserved for luxury candles. They offer a long-burning, clean, and drip-less design. The natural honey scent of the candles is lovely by itself, and they are usually made without any additional fragrance added.
  • Gel candles: These mineral-oil based candles are full of bubbles and can be dangerous unless you take certain precautions. Most of the dangers are related to the container rather than the gel. If you plan to light the candle rather than using it strictly for decoration, make sure you buy a glass container that is able to withstand heat. Thin glass containers can explode, spraying hot gel and broken pieces of glass all around. A popular use of gel candles is champagne glasses. The bubbles of the candle resemble the bubbles in champagne. However, champagne glasses are not strong enough to for the heat, so these are not intended to be burned.
  • Palm wax: This wax is difficult to work with, which makes it an expensive option. However, it is the longest-burning natural wax, and it’s virtually smokeless when burned. If it’s paired with a cotton wick, there is virtually no soot generated.
  • Paraffin: This man-made candle wax is usually the least expensive option. Most candles are not made from pure paraffin due to the short burn times. Pure paraffin candles are usually reserved for more disposable items such as small tea lights. Vybar is often added to paraffin candles to increase the burn time and strengthen the candles. Some people are allergic to paraffin; if someone in your home is allergic to paraffin, mineral oil candles are a good alternative.
  • Mineral-oil based candles: These are available in free-standing clear wax candles and container-type gel candles. These candles burn evenly and cleanly, and they can contain more fragrance than a paraffin candle. As they burn much hotter than paraffin, they generate virtually no soot.
  • Soy wax candles: Soy wax is another long-burning, natural wax that does not produce much soot. However, it is not a superior choice for Christmas candles, as they often have a bean-like aroma.

Types of Candles and Accessories

  • Candle warmers: Another safe alternative to burning a candle while still enjoying its scent is to use a candle warmer. These electric devices have a small hot plate designed to hold a glass-enclosed pillar candle. The electrical heat releases the candle’s scent without the danger of a flame.
  • Flame-less candles: Some of the new flame-less models look very much like real candles, even flickering like a real flame. These are usually battery operated.
  • Floating candles: These small candles float in a glass bowl of water, giving a lovely flicker effect as the candles move gently around the bowl.
  • Pillar candles: These candles are thicker than a taper, with common diameters ranging from 6cm to 8cm, although wider and thinner candles are available. Pillar candles can be rounded or square columns.
  • Tapers: These slender, vertical candles are ideal for candelabras and candle sticks. They work best on a holiday table or as a decorative window candle. Do not burn real candles in your window unless carefully attended and no window decorations are located nearby.
  • Tarts: These small wickless candles do not burn by themselves. Instead, they are placed in a warming dish and heated from below with a tea light candle. Because there is no wick, the scented tarts do not burn away. When heated, the tarts release fragrance; when cooled, they re-solidify until the next use. Wax chips are similar to tarts, although they are sold in small chips, rather than in a decorative shape. Once melted, however, the types will be indistinguishable.
  • Tea lights: These small candles are often used in tea warmers or food warmers because they burn for a long time. They are encased in thin metal casings, and they liquefy completely when burned. They are also used for accent lights or for heating scented oils. By themselves, tea lights don’t generate much light, unless they are grouped together with several other tea lights. These small lights can burn for 4 or 5 hours.
  • Window candles: While tapers can be used for decoration, if you want the look of a burning candle, a safer alternative is to use electric or battery operated candles.

 

Buying Guide to Christmas Candles
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