Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dad50 #43 to 46* Christmas Candleholders

Christmas Eve and candles go hand-in-hand in my book. It's all to do with growing up in a family with German traditions, with the major celebration being on that night. The family would gather at my grandparents home, and all the cousins would be hustled outside into the late afternoon Australian summertime. After what seemed an overly-prolonged wait, a bell would ring, and we would be ushered into the lounge room, where all the presents were magically grouped by family. The tree would be lit with candles (real tree + real candles = major conflagration waiting to happen), and with many others spread out around the room.

We would sing Christmas carols to badly played recorders and read Luke 2 by candlelight, first in German, then English. Several Aunts and Uncles would constantly scan the candles, particularly on the tree, to snuff out trouble when it started to smolder ominously. The older kids were eventually taught how to extinguish them without smoke or blowing hot wax around, by wetting your fingers and quickly "pinching" out the flame. That's a great trick that I've passed on to my two boys already. When I got married I had to give up on getting my hands on the presents and now have to wait till Christmas morning like everyone else (ED: can I hear violins?). But needless to say, Christmas Eve and candles remain inseparable in my home.

Several years ago I decided to make my troupe candleholders for their places at the table during the Christmas season. All I needed was some red oak, a band saw and a long term fascination with Gary Larson animals. As it turned out, standard small candles fitted snugly in 1/2 inch holes. I used a Forstner bit, rather than a regular or flat bit, to give a nice clean cut. The animals, star and manger were fitted and glued into slots or with small dowel. A couple coats of polyurethane, and they were done. While they are unlikely be highly durable, it's been an opportunity to teach the kids to be gentle with special items and to "look but don't touch".

Dad U
*I'm running low on Dad50 items, so have to count these individually. Since that doesn't break any rules, I've only 5 more to go!

Luke 2:19 "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

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