Every year we buy new candles because last year’s are too dusty, melted from the summer attic heat, or just aren’t quite right for this year’s decorating theme. And then friends and relatives add to the inventory because candles are the ultimate gift – safe and suitable for all ages and sexes and relationships, and inexpensive enough that the recipient doesn’t necessarily feel compelled to reciprocate. Meanwhile, the old ones just get put back into storage, and the candle supply grows, year after year, at a rate we could only dream would be matched by our stock market investments – an indestructible bubble that will never burst.
Now if we actually burned our Christmas candles this wouldn’t be a problem, but Christmas candles never, ever get burned.
Her: “Don’t light that candle!”So by the time Christmas actually rolls around every flat surface in the house is festooned with these virginal wax creations. To eat dinner at the table, you first have to remove the candle centre-piece. If you want to open the window, you have to move the candles off the sill. Bed-side tables, bathroom counters, coffee tables – even the fireplace mantle gets the treatment.
Him: “Why not? They’re candles. They’re supposed to be burned.”
Her: “But then they won’t look nice.”
Him: (rolls eyes) “Okay. “ (turns on the lights)
(Let me interject a word of caution here for the novice candle decorator. Rising heat from a fireplace will soften the candles leaving them looking like the ‘before’ image in a Viagra ad. If you don’t want Aunt Mable blushing and tittering into the back of her daintily-gloved hand, you’d better have a fresh, stiff set of replacements handy before the family arrives for Christmas dinner.)
By New Year’s Eve we have enough wax of various colours and shapes lying around to open a local Madame Tussaud’s. However since that’s not going to happen, I need a way to get rid of our dusty, our melted, our old, and our droopy so I don’t have to pack them all up again for next year.