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.