Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering how to bring this wonderful Tradition into your home?

It's hard to describe the magic of CandleTime with words but we're hoping the website will give you a sense of what's possible when you bring CandleTime into your home. We encourage you to browse through our product descriptions, peruse the stories on our Get Inspired pages, watch our short & sweet videos, or scroll through our photo gallery, to get a taste of CandleTime magic. But ultimately this is one of those things where the knowing comes from the doing.

You'll find instructions and inspiration in The CandleTime Book and subscribing to our newsletter is a good way to find tips and stories from other members of the CandleTime community.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the CandleTime Tradition you might have also.

How does one "do" the CandleTime Tradition?

CandleTime begins the first day of December and continues until the 25th. Over the course of these days, you light candles, share inspirational thoughts and/or meditations, and choose activity cards related to kindness, secret giving, fun, and connection. The magic of the CandleTime Tradition grows in-between these moments.

You can start it at any point in the month, do it just one day a week or for each of the 25 days of December. It takes only 10-15 minutes and over the course of the month brings something meaningful and fulfilling into your home and heart.

The tradition encourages letting go of the need to "do it right" and allows you to discover what happens when you show up with a willingness to embrace the life you are actually living—rather trying to fit into a picture of how you think your life "should" be. CandleTime is meant to become a Tradition that is uniquely yours. It provides a structure and guide to creating experiences and memories you will treasure for decades to come.

Do I have to start on December 1st?

Nope, you do not!  Although the tradition lends itself to starting on December 1st, the starting day or date is not all that important.  What is important is simply starting, wherever you are in the day, the week or month of December.  You will find meaningful moments no matter when you start! Most families have found that starting on December 1st sets the tone for the month; some have started on the first Sunday of the month, when a new candle is lit; and others have discovered that they need to stay flexible and let it happen whenever the moment is right - without stress or pressure. All of these approaches work!

Does CandleTime fit in with other religious, secular or family traditions?

Yes! Since CandleTime is about meaningful connection, the Tradition adapts easily to all beliefs, ages and stages of life. Regardless of your belief system, CandleTime activities are about those moments that bring connection, giving, fun and kindness into your holiday - the things that truly matter as human beings.

Is there Meditation involved? I don't know anything about meditating.

Using the CandleTime meditations is optional, but we do encourage trying them out. You don't need to know anything about meditation to enjoy these. The meditations are very short with simple instructions that make them easy and enjoyable to follow. We have discovered that both kids and adults actually look forward to these few moments to pause, relax, and spend a few moments feeling hope, peace, love, and joy.

Can I do this by myself?

Yes!  The Tradition adapts easily to all ages and stages of life. Whether you live alone, with a partner, with a houseful of little ones or teens, with several roommates, or are empty nesters, this tradition is easily adaptable and will bring you a true sense of fulfillment.

There are many who do the tradition that do not have children and have found it to be a wonderful way to connect and enjoy the holiday with a deep sense of meaning and purpose. It’s literally for everyone!

From the many Activities designed for acts of giving and kindness, the Readings and Meditations that bring a deep sense of contemplation and gratitude, to the small moments of magic that happen in between - CandleTime Tradition is truly meant for everyone!

What if I try it and it doesn’t work?

To be honest, this rarely happens and when it has, here is what we have found - the dynamics of a family at any given time or year may seem to go against all that you are working hard to create - connection and meaning.  And yet, even in those times that seem like nothing is working, there are aspects of the Tradition that can be built upon.  If only one member of your family finds a glimmer of meaning, a moment of peace, a second of a smile, it's working!

Don’t give up! And if you have days when no one wants to be involved, do it for yourself!  You will find that letting the magic of CandleTime grow in your own heart will flow to those around you.  And YOU will know that it works.  We have stories from families that have discovered that even years later, adult children who have grown up with this tradition, recall precious memories that, at the time, seemed unnoticed or unappreciated.

Is this an advent calendar?

This is sooooo not an advent calendar! A traditional advent calendar is about counting down the days to Christmas with candy and sweet treats, with little regard for the sense of fulfillment that comes with focusing on Love, Hope, Peace and Joy. The CandleTime Tradition takes the idea of an advent calendar several steps further, offering daily structure to bring the focus back into the things that truly matter - connection, giving, kindness and family fun.

Can I give this as a gift?

Absolutely! CandleTime makes a delightful gift for anyone who wants to find more meaning in the holidays. Just include this in the order form and we will be sure it ships out as a gift.

Will this add more stress to my holiday planning? Will it be overwhelming?

The great thing about CandleTime Tradition is that it brings the things you already may be doing into a sacred space and time of connection for everyone doing it. The point is to add fun and meaning, not more stress. So, for example if you’re a working mom with young kids, many of the Activity Cards provide simple things that can actually make holiday planning easier, and more enjoyable. Keep it simple, make it fun, plan with flexibility and CandleTime has begun!

Does the CandleTime Tradition work within my budget?

This Tradition was born from the desire to enrich the season without spending money. And it does! Nearly every activity is designed to take the focus away from “buying more things” to meaningful moments of kindness, giving, fun and connection - things that don’t take money but have incalculable value.

Cute siblings spenting their christmas time together

"The kids are really glad it's finally time to do the CandleTime tradition before bed each night. My 5 year-old wanted to go to bed early last night (to avoid cleaning his room) but he decided he would stay up once he remembered we were doing the tradition. He didn't want to miss it."


Who’s doing the CandleTime Tradition?

Long Distance with Zoom

If there is one thing we have learned recently — connecting with those we love does not have to be in person!  This tradition works well with a video call to those you want to share with!


There are times in our lives when our friends are our family.  CandleTime is a great way to deepen those connections and build lifelong friendships.

Older Adults

Older adults love the sense of purpose and connection the tradition fosters with grandchildren, family members and friends.

Couples of All Ages

A precious time to connect in ways our everyday lives don’t allow. These few moments will become the favorite part of your day.

Families with Older
Kids and Teens

The magic of CandleTime can inspire even the most skeptical of teens.  As families grow with the tradition the activities encourage kindness, giving and provide precious memories.

Families with Little Ones

Little ones love the candles, the magic, the fun, and attention the tradition brings.