NEW YORK — You love it when your house is decked out in its holiday finest, reflecting all the good cheer and festive spirit inside. At least, you love it until Dec. Smart shopping means choosing items you can use year-round, experts say, then adding little touches and accents to change it up. Think separate colors. lots of candles and see-through glass. and say no to stripes. This way, you’ll end up with items that are usable beyond the season, easily packed away or simply gone. “With less discretionary income, you have to make your dollars go far, but you want to decorate for the holidays,” says Patty Warwick, vice president and general merchandise manager of home at Sears. At the home of Nicole Sforza, senior home editor at Real Simple, you’ll find several clear-glass vases filled with candy, which she likes to separate by color: green in one container, red in another. It will all be gone,” she promises. The same vases could have been used last month to hold her Thanksgiving centerpiece of clementines, and they’ll hold flowers in the summer and colored leaves in early fall. Colored candles, which.
The INSIDER Summary: . • During my time as a Yankee Candle employee, I learned proper candle-burning technique. • The basics: Trim the wick every time, burn until the wax is melted all the way across, and keep the candle away from drafts of air. When I was a college student, I spent a summer working at a Yankee Candle store. Few people purchase candles during sweltering New England summers, so I spent most of my shifts picking up ultimately useless skills, like how to smell the difference between Sparkling Cinnamon and Cinnamon Stick. But I did learn one thing that's stayed with me for years: There is a right way to burn a candle — and most people have no idea what it is. . Heed the following guidelines and you'll get way more mileage out of your favorite candles. Each time you want to burn your candle, start by trimming the wick to between 1/8 and 1/4 inches long. You can use scissors, nail clippers (that's my personal favorite), or a specialized wick trimmer, but no matter what you do, always trim. First, trimmed wicks will give you a cleaner, brighter burn.