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Our Annual Gift Guide | Bee-centric Gifts

Presenting Greentree Home Candle's annual gift guide, an array of warm and colorful handmade wonders. Just the uplift we all need at the end of a long year.

Near and dear to our hearts at Greentree Home, each gift in our 2022 gift guide is filled with warmth and inspired by a connection to nature; every artisan and maker is someone we know personally. 

We guarantee these special gifts will bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones, and hopefully to your face too. Don't take our word for it! Order and see for yourself.

MATCH STRIKE WITH TRAY

Match Strike With Tray

 

If matches are a candle's best friend, then this elegant, ceramic match strike with tray is the party you go to with that best friend – or perhaps, the cozy dinner you share together at home.

The staple item you didn't know you needed, this match strike will positively alter your experience cooking with your stove top (are we cooking with gas?) or lighting up the wood stove (still heating with firewood?). Or, perhaps this is a gift for someone who is more sentimental than practical, in which case, we recommend having at least one in the bedroom, and another on the dining room table. Ready to set the mood anytime.

Crafted by a dear friend of Greentree Home Candle, Julia Finlayson, these solid pieces are hand thrown and glazed (your choice! either black or gray) in her Chicago studio, Grandmont Street

HONEY BEE ORNAMENT

 

Who says bees are for spring or summer? We see bees in the winter too – outside at our Greentree hives in the Catskills, and inside our home through the many symbols and decorations we keep to remind us of the gifts that come from hard work. If you don't have one yet, it's time to bring a bee home! 

Hang the bee ornament on your holiday tree for seasonal enjoyment – perch them in a window or above your table to add some dazzle to your home year-round. 

Support our friends Jim and Sandi, American artists who make meaningful gifts for life's milestones and craft classic home goods for everyday celebrations in their Rhode Island studio, Beehive Handmade. 

EVENT TAPERS IN SAGE

Event tapers in sage

 

Introducing…the Greentree event tapers in a limited edition color, ideal for celebrations big and small! Each bundle includes 10 tapers – just the right number of candles to cluster together on top of a celebration cake, or to light up your home as the nights get longer and days shorter.

These tapers give off a soft glow that will brighten and warm any holiday gathering. Narrow enough to fit into smaller holders, such as a kinara for Kwanzaa or menorah for Hanukkah, we currently have 20 bundles of event tapers available in Sage, a special edition color for the season.

CATSKILL HONEY

Honey by Rogers Ranch

 

What better way to celebrate bees than with Catskill honey? And what better honey to eat than the most local, natural and raw? 

This gift is perfect for anyone in your life who likes sweet things, and for those who take great care in their health. Raw honey in particular will give your immune system the support it needs to keep you safe and healthy through winter! 

One of the tastiest treats created by our bee friends here in the Catskill Mountains, we love the flavors of both the spring and fall varieties. Bottled with care by local beekeepers Rachelle and Brian at Rogers Ranch.

WEE CONES

wee cones by greentree home candle
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Wondering what would be the most fun or unique gift to get for one of your friends or colleagues? Searching for the perfect gift-in-hand to bring to your next housewarming or holiday party? We recommend our wee pine cones
Fun at any time of year and sure to make anyone who sees them smile, these lovable little candles bring a special sweetness to the winter season. The adorable yet elegant shape comes from the well-known fruit of the red pine tree.
We make them by hand in our Catskills studio in a range of playful colors – including the seasonal favorites bittersweet, sage, terra cotta, and natural. They look almost too cute to light, right?
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VESSEL & FINIAL

FINIAL AND VESSEL
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Our final gift recommendations for the winter holidays are truly unique pieces, ideal for anyone who likes to be different – or perhaps that special someone in your life who enjoys studying history, architecture, science, or engineering. 
The finial and vessel, our two newest candles at Greentree. One recalls the timelessness of that ancient shape, the vessel, which has been handcrafted in every culture on the planet for millenia. A perfect compliment to the vessel, the finial is an architecture-inspired shape that mimics some of the most beautiful shapes and patterns from our natural world. Fractals or wavicles, anyone? 
While we think these candles would look cool in any room, we would love to know what you think of the vessel and finial! Let us know your review in the comments below.
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This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine!

Humans have been constructing candles for at least 5,000 years. 

Egyptian traditions of gathering rush grasses and drenching the bundles in animal fat before setting them on fire tell the story of possibly the earliest candles known on earth. Centuries later, the beeswax candle developed (somewhere in Europe) – clearly inspired by these candle burning origins from Africa. 

Today, we make beeswax candles by hand in the foothills of the Catskill mountains in upstate New York, where the indigenous lands of the Susquehannock, Lenape, and Haudenosaunee people intersect, specifically the Oneida, Mohawk, and Onondaga nations. Our small team of crafts persons follow in the tradition of the millenia of humans who came before us, gathering raw materials from nature to create light and warmth.

Can you imagine all of the beautiful places and times that people light candles? Candles for community, candles for ceremony. The candle-lighting ritual spans every culture and society across the world. This fall, we honor the celebrations, ceremonies, and special events that include candle rituals. The autumn celebrations of Día de los Muertos, Halloween, and Diwali. The winter celebrations of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. 

PHOTO CREDIT: MAX FLATOW
Glynwood Cider Dinner

 Día de los Muertos, Halloween, and Diwali all happen in autumn. For many, these holidays mark the beginning of the winter season. For some, they signify the time of year when the veil is thin between the human and spirit world. All three holidays welcome and invite connections to our ancestors, spirits, and guides through the lighting of candles. Diwali has just passed (October 24th this year) and, roughly translated as "Festival as Lights," may just deserve the grand prize of all the autumn celebrations that include candle rituals. Families and communities in India, and globally, prepare for Diwali by cleaning their homes and spaces, followed by the lighting of candles to illuminate the night and send good energy back into the atmosphere. Similarly, families and communities celebrating Día de los Muertos light candles to welcome spirits back home to visit the altars (spaces for spiritual or religious worship; places where the divine and human worlds interact) and receive the ofrendas (offerings of food, beverages, gifts to honor and give back to the ancestors and guides). 

After autumn comes winter. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas each originate from a cultural or religious tradition that brings family and friends together during the winter months. Kwanzaa is a particularly special candle ceremony, uplifting the principles of Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), and Kuumba (creativity) through red candles; Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Nia (purpose), and Imani (faith) shine through green candles; Umoja (unity) is represented by the black candle, which is placed in the center and lit on the first day of celebration. This process and the candle colors symbolized in the ceremony honor putting people first (black), recognizing the struggle (red), and blessing the hope that springs from the struggle (green). Created in the 1960s, Kwanzaa is a Pan-African and African American holiday uplifting family, connection, and community. Hanukkah, too, is an annual, winter celebration of a peoples' resistance, survival, and miracles through the lighting of multiple candles.

Jewish Rituals by Nourish Co
PHOTO CREDIT: NOURISH CO.

Christmas may be one of the first holidays we think of when we think of the warm sparkle of lights – though the many traditions surrounding Christmas, especially the rituals of lighting candles, date back before Christianity. The tradition of the mid-winter festival has been traced back to multiple cultures and eras in history, including ancient Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Germany, and Rome. Ultimately, whether you practice Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, or another set of rituals, the winter solstice on December 21 marks a change in the seasons and a time to bring light into your life. Rejoice in the joy that sun and fire bring to our lives and to our planet. From one candle, light another, and another. 

Holiday
PHOTO CREDIT: MARTHA STEWART 

GreenTree Home celebrates the power and importance of lighting candles for all of your ceremonies and practices. We would like to share a special playlist, Candle Magic, created for your listening pleasure. Our candles are created with love, and made to burn through daily struggles and joys as they brighten your holidays and special occasions.

 

BUSY BEE TIP: Plan ahead and buy multiple candles so you can give them away as gifts throughout the year – or perhaps so you can burn them in your own space each and every day! 

BEE SUSTAINABLE: Might there be old candles sitting around – in drawers or boxes, in the basement or attic? Dig them out and light them up! Candles don't go bad.

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Tending the Flame: Why We Mind Our Beeswax

Tending the Flame: Why We Mind Our Beeswax
It’s not by happenstance that beeswax is the only wax we’ve chosen for our candles here at Greentree Home Candle: Besides their incredible natural scent, beeswax candles burn longer and cleaner than any other.

Not all beeswax is created equal- only 100% pure beeswax candles are non-toxic and air-purifying. In fact, many conventional “beeswax” candles are actually produced by melting down all parts of the honeycomb, rather than the super-fine wax seal on its top called capping wax, and may even contain fillers such as petroleum. Capping wax is what is most desirable when it comes to candle making as it’s the most pure.

Knowing this, it really makes sense that you get what you pay for when it comes to beeswax candles. Beeswax candles made exclusively from capping wax have the ability to pull out dust and toxins from the air.

Beeswax candles have a naturally long burn time without any synthetic additives. And while burning candles certainly isn’t rocket science, there is some science behind the flame, so we thought we’d give you some tricks of the trade to get even better and longer burns from your Greentree Home Candle.

 

The Essentials

-As always, safety safety safety

Just remember, folks, that we’re dealing with an open flame and hot wax- so burn wisely. Never leave your candles burning unattended, and please don’t try to adjust the wick or the wax while your candle is still hot!

-Burn your candle out of a draft

As they can cause uneven burns and dripping. Use a snuffer as well- it will help to prevent spills. Though pure beeswax is virtually dripless in the right environment, it’s pretty inevitable that spills happen. Just save any excess wax to be tossed back into the mix once you have a big pool- it’ll act as extra fuel.

-Burn on a level, heat-resistant surface

Aside from the obvious safety factor of this pointer, it will also help to ensure that your flame burns evenly and symmetrically.

Burning 101

-It all starts with the wick

Make sure your wick is not too long-the larger the wick, the less efficient the candle will burn. We try our best to trim the wick to optimal length before leaving the shop, but some slip under the radar a bit longer than we’d like! With this we say use your best judgement on any necessary trimming- usually about ¼ of an inch. Once the right length, start by lighting at the wick’s base and wait until both the wick has ignited and a small pool of wax has begun to form.

-Watch the wax pool

Allow the candle to burn until the pool of melted wax has almost reached the outside of the candle, usually about 2-3 hours after it’s been lit. Blow it out once your candle has reached this point and allow the wax to firm up before re-lighting. This will help to prevent the occurrence of tunnelling.

-Hug your candle

Not literally. This is candle speak for pushing the soft wax inwards towards the wick.  Hugging is just another way to get the most out of your wax, and is usually only necessary on larger candles such as our pillars or jumbo cones. It’s best to do this once you’ve allowed the wax to harden, just before re-lighting it. Just be sure to push the wax inward slowly, as you don’t want to suffocate your wick

-Retrim, relight, and enjoy!

 

 Words: Caroline Noonan      Images: Rachel Watson

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Beeswax Bloom: Love It, Hate It…or Wondering, What Is It?

You may notice your Greentree Home candles bloom after they have been sitting in one place for a while. Bloom refers to the frosty, crystalline layer found on the surface of beeswax. A bloom on your candles is good news – that means they are 100% pure beeswax!

Beeswax is made up of fatty acids, hydrocarbons, and esters. This composite of materials creates that gorgeous element which is so durable & firm when cool – yet becomes soft, pliable, & even turns to liquid, when heated. As the fatty acids in beeswax shift, some rise to the surface, creating the effect which we call bloom.

"I'm really enjoying the natural, vintage look of my beeswax candles." Blooming happens naturally over time – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly – and can be accelerated by cold temperatures or frequent changes in temperature. The coveted joy of beeswax candle-lovers, many of the candle-makers here at Greentree have to admit, we love a good bloom on our candles. The appearance of bloom will differ, from opaque white to a translucent film, depending on the color of the beeswax. Sit back, relax & enjoy the bloom!

"I miss that shiny look the candles had when they were new." We hear you! Here are a few ways you can return beeswax to its original shine: 1. Gently rub the surface of your beeswax product using a clean, cotton rag. The heat from your hands will help polish away the bloom. 2. You can also use a hair dryer on a low setting, or another gentle heat source. 3. Beeswax bloom may disappear naturally if you leave your candles in a warm, sunny environment. Just remember...the bloom will be back!

BUSY BEE TIP: Unlike many natural elements, beeswax magically does not decay over time. The color from the dye in your beeswax candles may fade, but the beeswax itself? Made to last. So, if you have some old beeswax – or beeswax candles – lying around, you can melt the wax down & use dyes, molds, or whatever supplies you have at home to create a new beeswax object! Heat is the key to changing the form, look, or shape of beeswax. Get creative to stay sustainable.

BEE SUSTAINABLE! Is beeswax part of your sustainability practice? Do you love the look of beeswax blooming too, or have any tips you want to share on how to remove the bloom? Let us know in the comments below.

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Queen Honeycomb

You may have heard the traditional beekeeper saying: "comb is king." Well, at Greentree Home Candle, we say "comb is queen."

Beeswax: Checking The Hive

 A lot of beeswax out there has been produced by melting down all parts of the honeycomb, and squeezing out wax as a byproduct. While "press and squeeze" methods completely damage the comb – meaning the comb cannot be returned to the bees – harvesting capping wax leaves the honeycomb intact by removing only the top of the comb, the super-fine seals we call cappings, without disturbing the process or the home of earth's beloved bees.

Greentree Home supports the sustainable harvesting of honeycomb cappings. We do our best not to destroy bees' domain in our candle production process, while prioritizing the purest wax: capping wax. Cappings, the thinly layered, wax seals found on top of the honeycomb are made of 100% new wax, placed deliberately by bees in order to protect the cured honey underneath. Wax found elsewhere in the comb might contain pollen, propolis, and other natural elements that are part of the bees' processes as they produce honey.

Beeswax: Building Comb

 

Thanks to bees' alchemical skills, beeswax candles are a sustainable choice, and they keep us healthy. Unlike most natural fuels, beeswax releases negative ions when it burns, rather than positive. These negative ions attach to the positive ions all around us, such as mold, dust, pollen, odor, and other toxins. That means beeswax candles clean the air we breathe!

By burning pure beeswax candles – in our homes, offices, and studios, for ceremonies, celebrations, and special events – we are gifting ourselves and our loved ones cleaner air and a positive atmosphere. We are also keeping ourselves safe from carcinogenic toxins, soot, and other forms of pollution that can be caused by paraffin and scented candles. Green Tree Home chooses not to add common fillers, such as fragrances or petroleum, to our candle creations because the magic of beeswax is good enough for us. Thank you, bees!

Beeswax: Burning Candles

BUSY BEE TIP: With a bar of beeswax, you can make your own lip balm, skin salve, wood balm, or candles! To source your beeswax, support a local beekeeper, farmer, or farmers' market – or, if you tend your own hives, try harvesting and processing the beeswax yourself.

BEE SUSTAINABLE: A simple, sustainable approach to beeswax harvesting: collect honeycomb that bees are no longer using. Please remember to be gentle – for example, by using the appropriate amount of smoke – so that you do not damage the comb where the bees are active, or harm any bees who may be waiting nearby to return home. Continue collecting the extra pieces of comb until you have grown a considerable pile. You can then render the honeycomb into what we call beeswax – which is that delicious, smooth, sun-yellow raw material that makes our beeswax candles look, smell, and burn so beautifully!

 

 

 

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