In this edition of Lifestyles, we are happy to draw attention to Marshall's fabulous Wonderland of Lights. Millions of lights transform downtown into a destination that attracts tens of thousands of visitors who love holiday experiences.

If you haven't ever seen it, go. You won't be disappointed. Put it on your to-do list.

The Wonderland of Lights got me thinking about other must-see Texas destinations for those who can't get enough of holiday lights and events that capture the joy of this special time of year.

An internet search for "top Christmas destinations in Texas" brings up lists recommending where to go and what to do. 

Besides Marshall, another top Christmas season destination is Galveston, which also is featured on our pages.

The website wideopencountry.com praises Galveston as the place that brings "Christmas to life" with the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens and Dickens on The Strand, which re-creates a 19th-century London holiday celebration.

The great news is that many must-see holiday sights are a relatively short drive from East Texas.

Just a few miles north of Marshall is the little town of Jefferson, which observes Christmas on the Bayou. Visitors ride the Rail of Lights Christmas train, tour historic homes on the Candlelight Tour of Homes, and walk through the Enchanted Forest, where more than 100 trees twinkle with holiday lights.

In Grapevine, north of Dallas, visitors can "view millions of Christmas lights and decorations that seem to adorn the entire city," says the website tripstodiscover.com. Attractions include the ice sculptures and 100-foot Christmas tree at the Gaylord Texan Resort, the North Pole Express train ride and outdoor showings of Christmas film favorites. 

Other Texas holiday destinations that top lists include Fredericksburg, the Hill Country town that mixes holiday traditions with its German heritage; Grand Prairie, which has a spectacular drive-through light display and holiday village; Austin, which attracts thousands with its trail of lights in Zilker Park; and San Antonio, which transforms its famous River Walk into a holiday destination featuring lights and parades.

Perhaps the most important thing is not where you go for the holidays but who you go with. Spend time with the people you love this holiday season. Your time and creating new experiences is the best gift you can give people you love. 

And it is easy with all the beautiful lights and fun experiences to forget that Christmas is a remembrance that God sent his Son to die for man's sins. And that was the best gift God could give the people he loved.

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