Cozy and Festive Thanksgiving Candles

Cozy and Festive Thanksgiving Candles to Set the Mood for Your Feast

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start getting your home ready for festive gatherings with family and friends. An important part of setting the mood for Thanksgiving is filling your home with the sights, sounds and smells that evoke the warmth and comfort of the season. One easy way to make your home smell like Thanksgiving is with scented candles that capture the essence of the harvest season. Read on for tips on choosing the perfect Thanksgiving candles to help set a cozy, festive ambiance for your holiday feast.

Set the Scene with Warm, Inviting Scents

Scent is incredibly powerful when it comes to stimulating the senses and evoking memories and emotions. The right fragrance can instantly make your home feel warmer, cozier and more welcoming to guests. When selecting Thanksgiving candles, look for fragrances that conjure up nostalgic thoughts of the flavors, aromas and overall feeling of the holiday season.

Popular scent notes for Thanksgiving candles include:

  • Warm baked goods like pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple pie, cranberry breads, cornbread and hot rolls fresh from the oven. These edible aromas spark nostalgia for homemade holiday meals.
  • Savory herbs and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley. These scents capture the essence of traditional Thanksgiving seasoning.
  • Fall harvest fruits like cranberries, apples and pears. Tart cranberry relishes and baked apples are quintessential Thanksgiving flavors.
  • Cozy beverages like hot apple cider, spiced wine mulled with cinnamon and citrus, and warming drinks like coffee, teas and hot chocolate. Sip on nostalgic, comforting drinks by the fire.
  • Woodsy autumn notes like pine cones, fallen leaves, cedar and other forest or campfire-inspired smells. Celebrate the natural smells of the crisp fall season.
  • Ginger, vanilla, maple and brown sugar for added warmth, sweetness and nostalgia. These beloved notes amp up the coziness factor.

Look for candle fragrances that contain these nostalgic scent notes either alone or in delicious, mouthwatering combinations. The goal is to fill your home with smells that immediately bring on that warm, cozy, grateful, festive Thanksgiving spirit.

Set the Scene with Warm, Inviting Scents

Set a Warm, Inviting Tablescape

Your Thanksgiving tablescape provides the perfect opportunity to incorporate candles into your decor. Arrange an assortment of candles in autumnal colors and in sizes ranging from votives to pillar candles. Cluster them in the center of the table amongst fall fruits, greenery, pinecones, gourds and other seasonal decor.

Place candles in antique silver or pewter candlesticks or hurricane lamps for gorgeous glow lighting during your feast. Scatter smaller votive candles up and down the table to provide additional flickering ambiance.

Choose candles in rich fall hues like deep reds, oranges, browns and creams to complement your table linens and dishes. Light the candles before guests arrive so they bask your Thanksgiving table in a warm, welcoming glow right from the start.

Don’t forget the candlelight when setting your buffet table as well. Strategically place pillars, votives or candelabras around your buffet spread to highlight your delicious dishes and decor. Just be sure to keep open flames away from low-hanging curtains or décor.

Add Ambiance to Entryways and Living Spaces

In addition to your dining room, be sure to incorporate candlelight into your entryways, living room, kitchen, bathrooms and any other spaces where guests will congregate.

Welcome visitors at the front door with lanterns or clusters of votive candles lining your front porch, walkway, stairs or entry table. These will guide guests right to your cozy Thanksgiving nest.

Make sure to include candlelight in your pre-dinner cocktail area, whether that’s around the fireplace, coffee table or home bar. Place candles of various heights on side tables, built-in shelves, the mantle or console tables.

Keep the candlelight going post-dinner when guests naturally migrate to cozy living room seating for digestion and connection. Use candles of all sizes to illuminate conversation areas and provide that sought-after warm ambiance.

Don’t forget functional spaces like the kitchen and bathrooms. A few flickering candles can instantly cozy them up as well. Just be mindful of open flames near food prep areas or sinks.

Add Festive Fall Touches

Add Festive Fall Touches

Part of achieving that perfect Thanksgiving mood is all in the visual details. Look for candles that come in seasonal colors, shapes, containers and designs. Here are some festive options to spice up your Thanksgiving candle décor:

  • Opt for tapers or pillars in autumnal hued stripes or swirls
  • Choose glass jars or tin containers decorated with turkeys, leaves, pumpkins and other Thanksgiving motifs
  • Select candles designed to look like ears of corn, mini pumpkins, trees, wreaths or fall leaves
  • Look for candles poured into reusable ceramic dishes, tin containers or mason jars for added charm
  • Make some DIY candles using fall-colored wax and wicks in glass jars, tying burlap or raffia around the lid for a crafty touch
  • Use metallic copper, gold or silver candle holders and sconces to complement your candles
  • Incorporate LED candles into outdoor decorating to illuminate pumpkins, wreaths, flower pots and walkways

Have fun dressing up your Thanksgiving candles with decorative touches that lean into the autumn harvest season. Embrace rich colors, natural materials, Thanksgiving symbols and homemade accents to make your candles fit right in with your decorating theme.

Enjoy Seasonal Scents Year-Round

The benefit of investing in festive fragrance candles for Thanksgiving is that you can enjoy those scents all winter long. Candles with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, pine, cranberries and more will continue providing cozy aromas well into December and the early months of the new year.

Certain scents like spiced apple, gingerbread, sugar cookies and woodsy pine feel right at home from November through at least February. Buy extras of your favorite Thanksgiving candles so you can burn them all season and evoke that warm, nostalgic feeling for months to come.

You may even want to stock up on a few of your very favorite fragrances to last you well into next fall. Scents with cinnamon, clove, baked goods and harvest fruits tend to evoke that nostalgic feeling of autumn year after year. Find one or two signature fragrances that put you in a cozy, thankful holiday frame of mind whenever you need some comfort and warmth.

Safety Tips for Holiday Candles

Safety Tips for Holiday Candles

While candles are such a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving decor, it’s important to prioritize safety when burning them in your home. Here are some key guidelines for safely enjoying candles this Thanksgiving:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish them before exiting a room.
  • Keep candles away from kids and pets who could accidentally knock them over.
  • Place candles on stable, heat-resistant surfaces, never on rugs or tablecloths.
  • Position candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable like curtains or holiday greenery.
  • Avoid burning candles near drafts that could cause rapid, uneven burning.
  • Trim wicks to 1⁄4 inch before lighting to prevent smoking, tunneling and flaring.
  • Always use a candle snuffer or wet fingers to extinguish, never blow them out.
  • Allow candles to burn out completely before re-lighting to avoid unequal wax pooling.

Follow these guidelines and exercise caution with holiday candles. The cozy glow and nostalgic scents they provide are well worth it when used responsibly.

Candle Gift Sets for the Thanksgiving Host

Thanksgiving candles also make fantastic gifts for the holiday hosts in your life. Present them as part of a hostess gift or as a housewarming present earlier in the fall. Look for festive candles sold in ready-to-give seasonal gift sets or create your own candle gift baskets for a homemade touch.

Here are some candle gift ideas to inspire your inner hostess:

Harvest Coffee and Tea Candles

Include an assortment of candles with coffee, tea and hot chocolate scents like:

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Earl Grey Tea
  • Hot Cinnamon Cider
  • Gingerbread Coffee
  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Chai Tea
  • Spiced Eggnog

Pair the candles with bags of gourmet coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cider mixes. Add mugs, kitchen towels, biscotti or homemade baked goods for a complete coffee-themed gift.

Warm and Cozy Candle Collection

Select an array of candles with cozy, comforting scents like:

  • Apple Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Hot Rolls
  • Cranberry Orange
  • Spiced Pinecone
  • Mulled Cider
  • Ginger Cookie

Include the candles alongside rustic oven mitts, maple syrup, gourmet baking mixes, pie plates and other cooking accessories for a perfect kitchen candle gift.

Autumnal Nature Candles

Choose woodsy and outdoor-inspired scented candles like:

  • Forest Pine
  • Cedarwood
  • Campfire
  • Birch Leaf
  • Falling Leaves
  • Cranberry Woods
  • Autumn Air
  • Apple Orchard

Pair with nature-themed fall decor like pine cones, acorns, potpourri, woven basketry, bird houses and gardening gloves or tools for a thoughtful, seasonal gift.

Pumpkin Everything

Give an array of pumpkin-scented and shaped candles such as:

  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Souffle
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Spiced Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Chai
  • Pumpkin Latte
  • Heirloom Pumpkin

Enhance the pumpkin theme with pumpkin oven mitts, pancake mix, muffin tins, maple syrup, pumpkin carving tools and other orange-hued goodies.

Thanksgiving Feast

Collect an assortment of food-inspired candles that represent classic Thanksgiving fare:

  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Corn Pudding
  • Stuffing and Gravy
  • Turkey and Trimmings
  • Autumn Harvest
  • Thanksgiving Feast

Include festive napkins, serving utensils, table linens, place cards, recipe cards or a holiday cookbook to complement the edible scents.

Build your own creative Thanksgiving or fall-themed candle gift set for the special hosts in your life. Homemade gifts mean so much, and candles are guaranteed to delight.

Awaken Gratitude and Connect with Loved Ones

Awaken Gratitude and Connect with Loved Ones

The holidays are not just about elaborate meals and perfectly decorated homes. At its core, Thanksgiving and the holiday season are about counting blessings, deepening connections and awakening gratitude in our hearts.

In the hustle and bustle of meal prep, gift shopping and party planning, don’t forget to carve out cozy moments for reflection. Light your favorite nostalgic candles and sit with a warm cup of cider. Share in intimate conversation with your nearest and dearest. Pause to really take in the smells, sounds, feels and tastes of the season. Recognize the abundance all around you.

May your candles help kindle that spirit of gratitude and connection that means so much more than any holiday décor or dish possibly could. Use this reflective time to make the world feel a little smaller, a little warmer, a little more hopeful. However you choose to welcome the holiday season, fill up your heart with as much light as you fill your home. With each flicker of the candles’ flames, be reminded of what matters most.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scents are best for Thanksgiving candles?

The most popular scents for Thanksgiving candles include baked goods, harvest fruits, savory spices, autumn botanicals, and cozy, nostalgic beverages. Go for familiar fragrances that spark memories of Thanksgiving meals and quality time with loved ones.

Where should I place candles for Thanksgiving?

Strategically place candlelight in dining spaces, living rooms, entryways, and anywhere guests will gather. Use a variety of candle heights and styles. Just be sure to keep open flames away from low-hanging greenery and curtains.

How can I make my Thanksgiving candles festive?

Look for candles in rich autumn colors and Thanksgiving-themed shapes, designs, and containers. Enhance them with metallic candle holders, seasonal decorations, and homemade touches like raffia bows or burlap.

What are some fun Thanksgiving candle gift ideas?

Some fun ideas include: coffee and tea candles paired with mugs and treats, woodsy nature-inspired candles with pinecones and acorns, pumpkin everything candles with baking accessories, or food-scented candles representing Thanksgiving fare. Get creative with thematic candle pairings.

How can I safely burn candles for Thanksgiving?

Never leave candles unattended, keep away from kids and pets, place on heat-safe surfaces, position 12+ inches from anything flammable, avoid drafts, trim wicks, use snuffers to extinguish, allow to fully pool before relighting, and follow all manufacturer guidelines. Exercise caution around open flames.


Thanksgiving candles bring such a special warmth, nostalgia, and coziness to your holiday celebrations. Select scented and decorative candles that fill your home with the inviting sights and smells of the harvest season. Gather loved ones around flickering candlelight and kindle that spirit of gratitude, connection, and comfort. Allow your candles to set a festive mood, awaken fond memories, and make new traditions shine bright. Adorn your Thanksgiving cupcakes with festive Thanksgiving cupcake toppers, and as you embrace candlelit moments, may the glow of your candles mirror the joyful anticipation in your heart throughout the holiday season.

About the author

Jennifer Robert

Jennifer Robert

Jennifer Robert is a home design blogger with a passion for creating beautiful, functional spaces. She shares her tips and tricks on her blog, and she's always on the lookout for new trends and ideas.

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