My young son takes the shamash or helper candle and begins lighting the row of eight candles in our menorah. The candles drip too much wax and arbitrarily flame way too high, as Hanukkah candles often do, and I count the seconds until one of his older sisters utters that phrase oft heard in Jewish households during the Festival of Lights, watch your sleeve, idiot.

This is what I think of when I think of holiday lights.

But of course, holiday lights are a thing that transcends Hanukkah as well as Christmas and perhaps all religion, rhyme, or reason. The amount of research, planning, and execution that can go into setting up holiday lights is staggering.


Perhaps my favorite holiday lights display anywhere. Macy’s flagship store, Herald Square, December 2015.

Why all the effort? Well, holiday lights make people happy and, frankly, they attract many tourists to many destinations. And that’s not a bad thing.

With that in mind, I’m happy to use this post as a vehicle to promote the good work of Traveling Mom and the traveling moms who have reported on where to find the most worthy holiday lights displays:

And as added incentive to read to the end of this post, if one of these posts inspires you to dash off to see some holiday lights, we’d like you to have a suitcase you’re not embarrassed to pack in. So enter the giveaway below to win a splendid Ricardo suitcase. We’ll name one winner every two weeks through December 31, 2016.

Holiday Lights Ricardo Luggage Weekly Giveaway