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A candle for remembering

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, it’s hard not to get caught up in everything that is, well, all about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Heck, how can we not, when we’re so bombarded with sights and sounds all around us? Set foot into the realm of retail and you’re blasted with a palette of reds and greens. And all of those easy-listening stations? They play nothing but Christmas music from Halloween to Dec. 25. Hey, I’m not knocking it. I love this time of year. My husband and I are the dreamy types who eat, breathe and sleep the rituals that come with the enchantment of the holidays. But do we ever stop to realize that not everyone is feeling on cloud nine at this time? In fact, this time of year can be the worst for many who have recently lost a loved one. With its feast days of All Saints and All Souls, we recall that November is also a time for remembrance, celebration and prayer for the souls in heaven and purgatory. So, among the fun and chaos of the season, we should take time out to pray for those going through a rough time and ‘ of course ‘ pray for the souls who’ve gone before us.

A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law’s father passed away. Shortly thereafter, at Christmas, my parents gave him a memorial candle as a special gift for remembering and praying for his father. This beautiful candle, in a polished wooden case, came with an engraved prayer. My brother-in-law, sister and their daughter have made it a custom to light that candle at every holiday and on the anniversary of his death, and pray that prayer in remembrance of him.

Well, the overpriced gift shop memorial candle is very nice, but those who know me know that my motto is, ‘Don’t buy it, make it.’ So here is a simple project you could do amid eating turkey, ordering gifts online and decorating the tree. It is something you can make to remember a loved one who has died or give as a gift to someone who recently lost a loved one.

For this project, you will need:

A cylinder-shaped glass candleholder about four inches in height

One package of glass pebbles

One three-inch pillar candle

A couple of containers of glass paint, in various colors

A paintbrush

One package of small brads (These are typically used in card-making and scrapbooking and can be found at an arts-and-crafts store.)

Begin by painting the name of a person, date of death, or any message on the outside of the glass candleholder. Add any other graphic elements of choice around the painted text. Set aside and let dry. Push the pointed end of several brads into the pillar candle to create a decorative banding. Set candle aside. Lastly, pour the glass pebbles into the painted candleholder and place candle inside.

More ideas

Personalize the candle itself by using letter brads to spell out name.

For a more traditional look, use a smaller glass hurricane candle holder and tie a ribbon around the top.

Wrap entire project in cellophane, tie with a ribbon and give as a gift.en for an alternate way to spell out the words, ‘thank you.’