Be prepared…

Particularly at this time of year, many of us like to have a stock of inexpensive, relatively generic gifts on-hand to bring to dinners and parties. (Plus, it can’t hurt to have a few tucked in the trunk of your car, so you can reciprocate when that person you barely know surprises you with a holiday gift.)

Wrap one or two of these fragrant soy candles, made by Sunflower Farm in Orange, in an attractive reusable box and you have lovely hostess gift or holiday present. Be sure to explain to the recipient that soy burns both slower and cleaner than paraffin, and does not produce the black soot paraffin does. In addition, the natural cotton wicks used in these candles don’t contain lead or zinc.

Made from 100 percent domestically-produced soy, with double cotton wicks, these 10 ounce candles sit in a domed apothecary jar and are purported to burn about 65 to 70 hours. They are available in two scents – coconut lime verbena, (yum!!) and vanilla lace.

$12. Sunflower Farm, 767 Derby Milford Road, Orange. 203-795-6829.

Melinda McGarty Webb