Novena candles usually return to selling for 95 cents after major religious holidays, but it never happened after Christmas or after Easter. I think that their high price must be a reflection of the high cost of petroleum products these days. Good old Reed Candle of San Antonio has been making these "nine-day candles" since forever, and they're so much cheaper even now than fancy tapers or what's sold as emergency candles. Makers of soap and detergents use tallow as an ingredient. Now they're forced to turn to coconut oil, which is more expensive. Why? Corn is going to make ethanol, so cattle feeders are using tallow in its place. This is also just plain gross, since it's another case of giving herbivores meat products for food. Tallow is the rendered fat of cattle or of sheep. Popcorn is also rising in price, because acreage once devoted to this specialty crop is now being sown with the kind of maize that goes into ethanol. This should all be filed under "handbasket" and cross-referenced "hell."