“A bayberry candle burned to the socket puts luck in the home, food in the larder and gold in the pocket.”
My mother-in-law burned a bayberry taper candle down to the socket every Christmas Day, to bring the family luck for the coming year.
We adopted the tradition in our house even though I learned that my mother-in-law’s version of the tradition differed from the original. According to online sources, the candles were lit on New Year’s Eve and the flame had to continue burning into New Year’s Day to carry the luck forward.
I thought about changing our tradition to align with the legend, but then dismissed the idea. Traditions are rituals, and rituals should warm the soul, revive memories of loved ones and centre us in what is really important.
If I were to light a bayberry candle on New Year’s Eve instead of Christmas Day, it would feel all wrong.
So I’ll keep on lighting a bayberry candle on Christmas morning. When I do, it will warm my soul, it will remind me of my mother-in-law, and it will centre me in what is really important.
And that, I suspect, will bring me more luck than anything.