Lighting A Candle

Christmas Advent Candle Wreath Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Candles” today, I chose a single candle in a wreath. My mother had something similar to this in her front room when I visited recently and I really liked it. Her candle was actually battery-operated like many of the ones that Philippe and I have these days. I didn’t know they made a candy cane striped version in that brand, but then my mother informed me that they didn’t, but that’s what she wanted. So she used transparent gift wrapping to transform what was once simply a white candle. The effect was far more festive and I had to admire her crafty ingenuity once again. At our house, though, we still have traditional tapered candles that we love to light in the evening during this time of year. Even the act of lighting a candle brings me joy. It’s like announcing that the normal evening is over and now it’s time for a bit of magic. I feel the same when we press the plunger on our Hallmark Treeluminator and light up the entire front of our house with Christmas lights. I thought it would be fun to try to teach our dog Phineas to press it, but he just stared at me as if I were insane. But that’s okay. Secretly, I really want to do it myself each day anyway.

I was off work today for the start of a nice long holiday break and nearly froze up wondering about all of the things I could DO today. There were lots of projects I could get caught up on, but since this was only the first day, I decided to be totally lazy instead. So, I just read a bit and played games on my Nintendo Switch. I have more games on my holiday wish list, so I hope Philippe managed to get me a couple. He doesn’t like shopping from a list and prefers to come up with everything himself. I, on the other hand, love having a list so I know at least some of the things I’ve selected are something the other person actually wants. This year, there was just one thing on his list and so I had to wing it for the majority of gifts. Thankfully, they’re small and not costly, but part of me still hopes they are the “right” ones. This is silly because we’re both the same when it comes to gifts. We love opening them and seeing the surprise and it barely matters what’s inside. It’s just fun to surprise one another with little things. That said, the one big gift I got for him is totally of my own choosing so I’m still a bit nervous about that one.

But, all of the sparkling lights each evening continue to remind me that everything is and will be perfect once again this season. Like when I was a little kid, it seems the days are passing by so slowly. Unlike when I was a little kid, I’m actually thankful that they are moving by so slowly. I love the anticipation so much still and I want it to last as long as possible. In fact, I think I love Christmas even more now than when I was a kid, if that’s even possible. What I really love is the holiday that Philippe and I have crafted together. It’s a lovely mix of traditions from the United States and France. Though I default to France almost entirely when it comes to the food, of course. Everything we do has happened quite organically and just seemed like the right thing to do for the occasion when we met. Now, years later, those little things have become beloved traditions that we look forward to each and every year. And soon, Christmas Eve will indeed arrive and our little tradition of festivities and gifts will finally begin! And once more, we’ll spend an entire evening enjoying magical surprises. A wondrous night that begins quite simply, by lighting a candle.

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Christmas Advent Candle Wreath Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail
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26 Comments
  1. Purnima Manjunath 11 months ago

    Aww, so gorgeous! This looks so festive,Charlie!

  2. Sandra Strait 11 months ago

    Yay for a day off! It’s easy to see where you get your creative talent, because your Mother obviously has it too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕My mother is a crafty creative genius. I do hope I’ve inherited an ounce of her talent!

  3. Karen Fortier 11 months ago

    Perfectly festive Charlie! I’m glad that you got to relax today. Me too, I took the afternoon to paint which life commitments have kept me from doing lately. At least I have been able to have my daily doodles.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yay to an afternoon of painting!! That’s the best spent afternoon ever!

  4. Priscilla DeConti 11 months ago

    I love your little stories that go with your drawings…it warms my heart listening to speak of Christmas with such awe and wonder..never grow up! Merry Merry Christmas to you and Philippe(?)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕(yes that’s the right spelling!) Thrilled you enjoy the stories… my art is combo of words and doodle. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 11 months ago

    So beautiful!!! You have been capturing the magic of the season perfectly!!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Aww that’s the best compliment ever!!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 11 months ago

    I love the metaphor of lighting a candle – with light we see more clearly all the good in our lives. Your candy cane candle makes me smile!

  7. Lisa 11 months ago

    Well, I turned 60 yesterday! I received two bouquets of flowers to mark the occasion. There were no candles alas, but I expect some cake at tomorrow evening’s Xmas book group party. They never forget. Plus we have a used book exchange where when it’s your turn you can select a gift to open, or steal one that’s already been opened. We have lots of laughs with that. Have a wonderful time off!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Happy 60th, Lisa! 😃💕 And hope you enjoy your book party group tonight and get that cake!!

  8. Mary Roff 11 months ago

    Very festive and beautiful candle!! Sounds like a perfectly wonderful way to start your holiday time off!! Enjoy every minute! 🥰

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 I’m enjoying each and every second this season has to offer!

  9. Lori C 11 months ago

    Oh the anticipation! It just makes everything so much more exciting. I know what my gifts “are”, but I don’t know what they look like. Your candle is lovely with it’s greenery! Enjoy your time off!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 The anticipation is SO much fun! hehe… I’m so enjoying it! Hope you are as well!

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 11 months ago

    Don’t worry, I won’t give away your surprise for Philippe – the palomino pony he’s always secretly wanted. But if he hears any neighing before Christmas morning, that’s on you for not keeping it under wraps better.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      haha!! I love that, Sharon! 😃💕 Very fun! Yet, Philippe doesn’t like horses much… I know, weird! But he has other good qualities! 😉

  11. Linda Calverley 11 months ago

    Love the candle but I love the cones, berries and leaves surrounding it even more.

  12. Jerson Antao 11 months ago

    Yes this was very famous when Christmas was around the corner during my childhood too, i used to make greeting cards with candle, wreath, pines etc. great work Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks, Jerson! 😃💕 Glad this brought back good memories! I love this season!

  13. SMZ 11 months ago

    Charlie says, ” Even the act of lighting a candle brings me joy. It’s like announcing that the normal evening is over and now it’s time for a bit of magic.”

    I don’t just read that, I feel it…I love the sparkle as the flame stretches and bows…as if it, too, has that Christmas feeling.
    I love the beauty of the greenery and red berries, and I love the happy sounds of Christmas on the way that is painted
    into that wreath and candle.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Aww thanks so much! Thrilled you enjoyed this one! 😃💕Candlelit evenings are definitely pure magic!

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