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5 ways to make your house smell like Christmas without candles

Drive home your holiday decorations with these five candle replacements.

With the holidays upon us, you might be looking for that extra something to really drive home the holiday spirit and complete your decorations. Candles are a great way to do that, but not everyone is comfortable with the idea of an open flame around such commonly flammable decorations as tinsel or a Christmas tree.

Here are five ways you can make your home smell like Christmas without burning candles.

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Make a simmer pot

An age-old way to fill the house with those holiday smells is with a simmer pot. There are many different ways to make a simmer pot, but a classic recipe is to add a quartered apple, a whole orange peel, roughly 15 cloves and two cinnamon sticks to a pot. Add water and simmer on low. Just remember to keep adding water or to turn off the burner before the water completely evaporates or you'll have a real mess on your hands.

Burn cinnamon incense

If you're a fan of incense, cinnamon is a scent you can typically find pretty easily. Burning this incense will fill your house with the traditional Christmas spice smell.

While incense is extremely cheap, it doesn't last nearly as long as other candle alternatives.

Blend essential oils in a diffuser

You can also make your own scents by mixing different essential oils in a diffuser. Some holiday oils you can experiment with are pine, cinnamon, peppermint, frankincense, myrrh, clove, orange, ginger, cedar wood and nutmeg.

Fill the diffuser tank with water, add a mixture of roughly 15 drops of different essential oils and turn on the diffuser. This will keep your house smelling like Christmas for several hours.

Wax warmer

A wax warmer is the perfect middle ground between a candle and an essential oil diffuser. It gives you the amazing, strong smells of a wax candle, without the need for an open flame. Just place a few wax cubes on top of the warmer, turn it on and wait a few minutes for the wax to begin melting.

You can continue using the same wax cubes until they no longer release an aroma. To clean up before adding more, turn on the warmer to heat up the wax and use a paper towel to wipe it away once it's melted.

In general, with a wax warmer, you get the benefits of a candle for significantly cheaper.


Finally, you can make a pomander. You'll just need a thick-skinned orange, cloves and something like a toothpick or push pin to poke holes in the orange peel. You can make a fancy design, cover the whole orange or just do some straight lines. Fill the holes you make with the cloves.

After you begin poking holes and inserting cloves into the orange peel, the orange will begin drying out and emitting a holiday scent. Eventually, it will completely dry out and shrink. You can then store it and continue to use it for years on end.

If you live in a more humid climate, however, you may have to take extra steps to ensure the pomander doesn't mold, such as hanging it and placing it in a dry closet.

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