Let’s face it, every year we either receive a candle as part of a horrible corporate white elephant, or we give that candle away. However everytime we see a Pinterest photo of a proper autumn table setting, there is always a candle. Alas, we all use candles, but we never receive the candle we want.

Here is my list of worst to best candles to give:

Votive candles: A votive candle is a small candle. Yes, they are smokeless and burn for a long time. When the candle burns to the bottom, the flame does go out on its own. But, unless the receiver is having a holiday wedding and is on a budget, then don’t give this. Please don’t. They are too small, and scream, “throw away” gift.

Tea Light Candles: Tea light candles are small too. However, you can find an array of nice scented tea light candles to give. They are small and lightweight by design; tea light candles are extremely versatile. They tend to only burn for about two hours. So they are only great for decor. Just bring them to a friends house if they are hosting a Friendsgiving. Your friend can then place them next to each guests’ place setting.

Candlepot Candles: Candlepot candles tend to come in more scents. You find them at Yankee Candle. These are not as bad as the previous candles. They come in a pot, and people can take to work or place them anywhere in their home. The trick with this one is to make sure the container is more than a glass jar. Also, the scent needs to be something besides vanilla.


Pillar Candles: Pillar candles are similar to candle pot candles. However, they do not have a pot. These tend to be the general candle we receive. People think if they give a beige or red candle, that it’s autumn theme. Boo! For this gift to work, it is best to do one of the two things. One, give three different shapes and sizes. So they can place them together on a mantel or on a side table. Or, two, you give one with a beautiful container.

Taper Lights: Taper lights are timeless. They are the image that comes into our head when we think of candles. However, the proper way to give this to a friend is to give them the candle with a beautiful candle holder. So they will have something lovely every year they can use.

Candles do not have to be an embarrassing gift. They can be a meaningful gift that doesn’t end up in the closet.