About two hours before everyone arrived, I made this:
The candles are a bit tall to stand up on their own, even tied together in a group, but the pine cones (collected from the yard) help to hold it up. My dad added some duct tape to the bottom of the candles to help keep them upright. By the end of the evening, the centerpiece looked liked this:
I also filled the long wooden box (I think I need a better name for it) with any candle that was either neutral or fall-colored, and left it on the sideboard.
It was simple, yes - but I love the way it turned out!