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Each weekday morning, my one-bedroom apartment splits into two home offices. My boyfriend Michael takes the bedroom, working from the small writing desk we have tucked into one corner, while I work from the dining table in our living room. Come dinnertime (if we’re not bent over bowls of red curry on the couch) we sit either side of that same dining table, and I can’t help but feel like I should be listening for a Slack ding or fumbling for my headphones in preparation to join a video call as soon as we’re done. The transition from desk-to-dining-table has made switching from work to rest feel borderline impossible… until I started lighting candles.
I’ve had a gold candelabra holding two tall white candlesticks in the middle of my dining table since Christmas, when I hosted a group of friends staying in the city for the holiday. In the rush of serving—then enjoying—Christmas lunch, I forgot to light them. Until a few weeks ago, they’d been standing untouched for months. I’d become so accustomed to their presence at my dining-desk I’d basically become blind to them.
The night I first lit them, everything felt particularly dull, at the end of a day that felt like it had actually been a week. I was craving, even more than usual, something—anything—to make the night feel even the tiniest bit special. I set the table as normal then, before serving, grabbed a lighter and sparked those bad boys to life. For the first time since quarantine began, sitting across from Michael at the same table I’d spent my entire day working actually felt festive. Dare I say, even romantic!
Much like setting candles atop a birthday cake or lighting a scented candle after a morning of cleaning, eating dinner by candlelight is a small ritual that makes a huge difference. We might not be able to go to restaurants right now, but at least we can make our dinners at home feel like something worth celebrating. And so far, lighting my candles is the quickest way to make that happen.
This life upgrade works whether you light a fancy-ass candlestick in a fancy-ass candelabra or just a simple flickering tea light candle. However, if you’re in the market for something new to admire while dining, I have some suggestions!
If You Want Some Candlesticks to Call Your Own
These tapered candlesticks are the perfect amount of drippy and come in all the colors I want in a candle, including navy, petal pink, and a perfect mustard yellow. I also quite enjoy these striped candy-colored sticks and these ombre candles that prove it’s the color trend that will never die.
If You Have Candlesticks but Wouldn’t Mind Something New to Hold Them
I’m obsessed with this blown glass holder, which I would personally like in the amber and pink if you’re listening, Santa. I’m also really into these candle holders that can house either a candlestick or a tealight candle because why not get you a holder that can do both?! These glass holders are also exceptionally cool and something I would very much like to be eating in front of ASAP.
Or, If You Want a Candle That Doesn’t Need a Holder at All
Whatever candle you choose, light one tonight and let me know how it goes.
Feature Image via Luke Edward Hall.