Regardless of the time of year, I absolutely love candles. I always have one in the main living area of my house, one in the bedroom, and one in the bathroom, all different scents. The psychological shift of moving into a new area with a different aroma is very calming. Even when it’s hot, I find that a nice beachy scented candle helps dial in the mood of the season.
When it’s dark and cold, candles really come into their strength. Warming your home with a few candles really sets the stage, especially when entertaining. They say that smells strongly trigger memory response, so lighting a candle with a familiar holiday scent could very well transport you back to rosier days.
Christmas candles tend to follow a few key themes in order to evoke the warmth of the holidays, and usually have wax colored to match the usual shades. Some focus on fruit, some on baked goods, and others on evergreen smells. For this list, we’ve featured a mix of larger candles that will burn for many hours to see you through all of your festivities, as well as smaller options to fit your plans for decoration or to give as small gifts.
Celebrate the holidays with the simple joy of the top ten best Christmas candles.
1. Yankee Candle Christmas Wreath Candle
Without a doubt one of the best-smelling candles ever produced (right up there with the company’s Midsummer’s Night), this candle will quickly have you thinking of White Christmases and tree trimming. Combining evergreen with citrus offers up a full complement of seasonal aromas. Especially recommended if you already love their Balsam & Cedar variety, and both of them work wonders if you go for an artificial tree this year. You should also have a peek at their Mistletoe scent, which his equally brilliant. For a few bucks less, you could try the Village Candle Balsam Fir to get a similar effect.
Scent notes: Pine, citrus, hollyberry, cedar
Burn time: 110-150 hours
Featured size: 22 ounces
2. Yankee Candle Home for the Holidays Candle
Don’t worry, not all of these are going to be Yankee Candle, though they probably could be. This one combines the woody, earthy scents with cinnamon and clove, moving it just a touch closer to the food scented candles some people absolutely love. This is a great option for people like me who don’t go in for the food ones as much, but want to branch out from the strictly plant-based smells. If you do love the food versions and want to explore those, Yankee makes Christmas Cookie and Red Apple Wreath, both of which are very popular.
Scent notes: Cedar, balsam, cinnamon, clove
Burn time: 110-150 hours
Featured size: 22 ounces
3. Paddywax Library Collection Charles Dickens Soy Wax Candle
Part of a collection that also includes John Steinbeck and Mark Twain, Paddywax offer this interesting take on a holiday candle featuring Charles Dickens. With notes of juniper and clove, it certainly smells the part, but the quote they chose comes from A Christmas Carol: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Scrooge’s line comes after his visit with the Christmas spirits and reflects his transformation. A fine collection of things worth remembering this holiday season.
Scent notes: Tangerine, juniper, clove
Burn time: 60 hours
Featured size: 6.5 ounces
4. A Cheerful Giver Butter Maple Toddy Candle
Recalling both holiday meals like Christmas breakfast and bracing beverages that help you face the cold, this candle isn’t necessarily intentionally holiday specific, but features scents that will warm your spirit and put you in the right frame of mind. With the rustic, down home accents, this candle should do the trick while piquing your appetite for something sweet or boozy.
Scent notes: Maple syrup, buttery rum, vanilla, cinnamon
Burn time: 155 hours
Featured size: 34 ounces
5. Nest Fragrances Holiday Votive Candle
Relying heavily on fruits in season over the winter, the key element to this candle is pomegranate. This fruit is key to Greek Christian symbolism, and was previously offered to the goddess Demeter. The white and gold glass design will match well with virtually any holiday decor. In addition to this two ounce size, you can buy an 8.1 ounce size and a 21.2 ounce size.
Scent notes: Pomegranate, Mandarin orange, pine, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, amber
Burn time: 20 hours
Featured size: 2 ounces
6. Trapp Seasonal Collection Holiday Candle
Following on stylistically from the Nest offering above, these premium Trapp soy candles are definitely on the pricey side. To some degree, that’s made up for by the relatively long burn time for the size. This Holiday variety combines cinnamon, gingerbread and even bourbon for a finely scented experience. Other offerings in the Seasonal Collection include White Fir, Orange Clove, and Lemon Sugar Cookie.
Scent notes: Cinnamon stick, gingerbread, bourbon, vanilla
Burn time: 70 hours
Featured size: 8.75 ounces
7. Goose Creek Candles Cinnamon Spice Candle
Goose Creek bill their candles as being the cleanest burning and most fragrant candles on the market. It’s possible that they’re right, but either way, this cinnamon and clove centered candle will make the perfect accent to your home during the cold months. The two wicks will ensure even burning over the 150 hour burn time. Another holiday-focused offering from the company is Holiday Embers.
Scent notes: Cinnamon, clove
Burn time: 150 hours
Featured size: 24 ounces
8. Chesapeake Bay Candle Heritage Collection Chestnut & Acorn Candle
Though they burn faster than other options, this Chesapeake Bay Candle offering makes up for it with a unique and rustic package that recalls simpler times. The combination of chestnut and acorn will have you thinking of a certain Christmas classic without actually having to put food over any open flame. This soy wax candle is also available in a 7.2 ounce jar and a 19.5 ounce jar.
Scent notes: Chestnut, acorn
Burn time: 20 hours
Featured size: 9.9 ounces
9. Bluecorn Naturals Beeswax Holiday Cinnamon Zest Candle
While the other options on this list are made with soy or paraffin and scented with fragrances, these candles from Bluecorn Naturals combine 100 percent pure beeswax with essential oils to form their non-toxic candles. This Cinnamon Zest scent is just one of their three Holiday scents. The others are Fresh Cut Spruce for the evergreen lovers and Honey Vanilla for a little sweetness. These are handmade in Colorado by a small family company.
Scent notes: Cinnamon, citrus
Burn time: 45 to 60 hours
Featured size: 8 ounces
10. Village Candle Gingerbread House Candle
With their suspiciously familiar typeface (perhaps you recognize it from Yankee’s old branding?), Village Candle is the Maine-based, cheaper version of Yankee Candle. This dual wick candle is perfect for that warm, sweet smell of gingerbread. Perfect for any time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, this is sure to make your home feel cozy.
Scent notes: Ginger, brown sugar, orange zest
Burn time: 105 hours
Featured size: 16 ounces
Follow our Christmas category throughout the season for shopping guides from our whole team.