Monday, 17 December 2012

An important part of Christmas.

Candles - Christmas would not be Christmas without candles, would it?   When I was a small child I remember we had the same tree for some years.   My father would dig it up out of the garden and put it into a bucket.   My mother would wrap the bucket in Christmassy paper and we would decorate the tree with the same decorations every year, maybe just adding one or two new ones.
There was a little silver glittery house with red cellophane windows - that was my favourite.   There was a tin Santa Claus and a tin reindeer and there were long, pointed drop shapes in various colours.   And last of all were the tiny candles, red, white and green twisted ones which we put into equally tiny clip-on candle holders.  They were only lit once - the fire risk was tremendous - on Christmas eve when my mother would make the bedtime cocoa, the presents would be under the tree and we would all sit round and sing carols,   I learned to play the piano when I was very young and I always sat at the piano to play the carols - but the scene (probably enhanced over the years) is one of my fondest memories.   We didn't have a lot of spare money and we only had a few presents -nothing special but nevertheless there was magic in the air - a magic I suspect has largely gone from a lot of Christmasses now.


I think everyone has candles around at Christmas.   They cast a magical light.   Gone are the days when we relied on them for light - the only light in fact in the dark days around Christmas.   Maybe it is this that makes them so important now.

On Sunday morning I went with friend, G, to the White Rose Candle Company at Wensley - a tiny village close to where I live.
How I wish I had taken my camera.   Stepping through the door into the small, cosy candle workshop, was rather like stepping into fairyland.   There were candles of all shapes, colours, sizes and decorations; there were candle holders in all kinds of shapes; there was an overriding smell of candle wax and various saucepans were bubbling away in the background.

I bought two very pretty candle holders.   When I have put them on my hall window sill and decorated it for Christmas, I shall put a photograph on to show you.   But I did wish I had taken my camera so that you could see into this tiny shop, situated in an old mill by the side of a cascading waterfall in full flow.

If you want to see what it looks like then please go to their website, where there are plenty of photographs.  Just Google White Rose Candles, Wensleydale. 

16 comments:

Elizabeth Wix said...

A wonderful Christmas memory of the tree candles. Though I begged and begged, we were NEVER allowed real candles on the tree. Lucky you.
Yes, we had very few ornaments --but we loved them to bits.

Well, I did read by candlelight in the powercut following the hurricane -- luckily I had a good book as it was a bit challenging.
Wishing you and the Farmer a lovely Christmas.

Heather said...

The candle shop is delightful and must smell lovely. I'd love to pay it a visit.
Your childhood Christmases sound wonderful - no need for expensive decorations or presents - the magic was there.
I lit our candles for a while today and enjoyed their gentle light. It is so relaxing and with the Christmas tree lights too, it is just possible to read or knit.

acornmoon said...

I enjoyed reading about your Christmas memories. There is nothing as pretty as a tree lit by candles. I have been reading about a country Christmas in a book by Alison Uttley which I found in a charity shop. Your post reminded me of her stories.

If I don't visit again, "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, May your days be bright....." xxx

Gerry Snape said...

this sounded wonderful...I must keep it in mind for a later date...looking forward to the pics!

Eryl said...

I love the idea of having the same live tree for years, especially one with candles on it. I saw, recently, glass baubles that you could put tea-lights in and hang on a tree, marvellous, but more than my budget could stand.

Cloudia said...

Your word pictures of past and present are quite evocative sans pics.

Bovey Belle said...

Pat - you have taken me right back to MY childhood too, as I can remember having those little painted tin clip-on candle holders (oh my gosh, but 'elf and safety would be having twenty dozen hundred kittens just at the mere THOUGHT of lighted candles on a combustible tree!) But the MAGIC of lighting those candles . . .

We have plenty of candles here - we favour the big heavy church style candles for power cuts and when we want a bit of magic again.

I visited that gorgeous candle shop - wish I could smell the scents as I am sure they are wonderful.

Bovey Belle said...

"I visited the candle shop" - as via your link!

Dave King said...

I find it fascinating the way Christmas memories are always the same for everyone and always different. There was a period, for example, when we kept the same tree year after year - and, of course each year it would be that bit taller. Then an uncle took a job as van driver for Tate and Lyle and began bringing us a tree each year that he'd cut from the forest somewhere. (Don't go there!)
So much of your post has echoes with my past Christmases.

Crafty Green Poet said...

that sounds like a lovely little shop!

We never had candles in my childhood Christmases, my parents still don't have candles at all, ever.

We though do have candles, but never on the tree!

thousandflower said...

My 89 year old mother-in-law still puts candles on her tree. She lights them while we watch and then we watch the tree and then blow them out before we leave. You have to be very careful but she's done it for years and years and knows how to do it. They are so lovely.

mrsnesbitt said...

I love traditional candles and remember some miniature ones we brought out at Christmas - and agree with you oh to think of the fire hazards!
Nowadays the popular candles are far too overpowering for me - walking into a shop in Stokesley last week I was nearly knocked out by the intensity of the perfumes - am sure they would be as good as mustard gas in the first world war! My journey wasn't in vain - buying a Yankee Candle for my sister in law. Shop assistant was so enthusiastic about the overpowering perfume! That'll do for me - couldn't smell a thing! lol! Is the shop open all year Pat? Somewhere else for us to visit?

MorningAJ said...

We never had candles at home - even when there was a power failure. We had a Tilley lamp! I think mum was too afraid of setting fire to the place.

Gwil W said...

Like MAJ no candles either. Baubles, yes!

Golden West said...

I daresay there's still as much magic in Christmas as anyone is willing to create. My childhood Christmases were similar to yours, Weaver. My warmest memories are of the things we did, as opposed to the things we got!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for visiting.