Candles flickering away in our windows and mantelpieces are a common sight over the festive period, but have you ever wondered why we decorate with them at Christmas?
I love the effect the soft glow of a candle creates at wintertime, giving a cozy, homey atmosphere, but something telling me that I’m not alone on this one. For me, candles are something that helps me to disconnect from all the stress and negativity.
But yes, there is religious reasoning also:
One of the earliest records of candles being used at Christmas is from the middle ages, where a large candle was used to represent Bethlehem’s star. Jesus is sometimes called ‘the Light of the World’ by Christians. This might have started the custom of the Advent Crown and Advent Candles.
I have my own small tradition; it is called The Seven Candles of Christmas. And in my humble opinion, it helps to remember the true meaning of it. And it doesn’t matter do you believe in God or not. Those candles are a reminder and motivator.
Seven candles are a remembrance of the true meaning of Christmas:
- Light the first candle for the Man whose birth we celebrate on Christmas Day. May that the fire from that candlelight the world.
- Light the second in honor of the gift of His love. May the light from this candle touch every heart – those who believe and those who do not.
- Light the third candle in honor of your children and your family. For they are among your greatest gifts.
- Light the fourth for the young men and women in the armed forces. Who sacrifice so much so that we may have the right to celebrate Christmas – or not – following our own beliefs.
- Light the fifth candle for your friends. For they, indeed, are among your greatest treasures.
- Light the sixth for the less fortunate ones: For the mother who has no food to give her child; for the father who has no job; for the children that go hungry. May the glow from this candle guide our conscience.
- Light the seventh candle for those who are suffering. Those who are ill, forgotten, or lonely. For those who are homeless and are huddled on dark winter nights in the unseen corners of cities worldwide. In remembrance of them’, let us this candle. And, may the light from this candle burn always lest we forget them when Christmas has passed.