Honestly, no photo I have been able to take ever captures the magic of a room lit only by candles on a tree.
We lit the tree last night because Andrea and Mike were over for dinner with the kids. I am lighting it again tonight for the boys to invite friends over to see it. We will also light it on the 24th, normally the first time we would light it. Finally the last time we will light will be on Boxing Day for our Turkey dinner. I am 100% certain the tree will not be fresh enough for candles to be light on January 5th when Nik and Jacquie will come over with the kids for a goose dinner.
Candles on a tree are not dangerous if you pay attention to what you are doing.
First off you need a fresh tree and you can only set it up a day or so before you light it A fresh tree is really, really hard to burn. I can hold a light candle under a branch and it will at best smolder a bit. Setting up the tree on the 22nd to 24th means it remains special is not just sort of there for week before hand.
Second, you need to think about where you place the candles. They need to spaced out and not have branches right above them. Only certain types of trees work for candles. The modern highly pruned conical shrub things do not work at all.
Third, a bucket of water with wet rags and a fire extinguisher are important. The wet rags are important because that way you keep the potentially burning area damp, throwing water at the tree is pointless.
Fourth, you make sure the tree is not placed in such a way that people will bump into it. You also have to make sure the tree is steady and will not tip over. There was a year where the tree tipped over onto me. I did not panic and waited for others to get the candles off of me and the chair. You also have to watch the wrapping paper monster - no stray paper near the tree when it is light.
Fifth, when you light it you never leave it burning in an empty room. The candles will only burn for about 90 minutes.
Sixth, you only light it early on. In about four to seven days the tree will be too dry to safely light. In the 1950s my parents went to a New Years Eve party and the Xmas tree there was light. It was dry and caught fire. My father reached for the stem and grabbed the tree with the intention of throwing it out. Unfortunately because the people there had little kids they had fastened the tree to the wall with a rope to ensure it would not fall over. My father did manage to yard it off of the wall and through it out the door, but he was burnt in the process.
That tree should never have been light and it should not have been secured to the wall.
Having candles on the tree makes Christmas that much more special for me.