We are so used to light now. Thanks to electricity we can have our homes be as bright as noontime in the middle of the night. Light is a wonderful thing. Too much bright light…well, that’s another story.

When I want to relax, the last thing I want is bright light. Even the bulb of a lamp can be too much. Sometimes I’ll turn the lights off and open the curtains at twilight. This lets the natural light softly filter in bringing the colors of night with it. There’s something soothing about the deepening blues and purples and red-oranges that signal the day is over.

When the weather will not cooperate, I use candles. Their flickering flames gently light the world around them. I have several candle holders, depending on my mood. My current favorite is stained glass in oranges and greens. I have a plain pillar candle inside and it casts a beautiful colorful glow when it’s lit. I also have a variety of tea light holders–tea lights are a versatile candle. They come with their own little cups making cleanup a breeze. I put them in plain colored glass, arrange them in front of a mirror, or put them in the little “lanterns” my children made for the holidays.

For those who are not comfortable with real flame, there are now a variety of flameless candles. These little wonders flicker like flame and can set a similar mood. Using batteries instead of fire, they are safe to use in areas where normal candles may not be.

There’s just something magical about relaxing by candlelight.