During this season we are quite naturally drawn to the comfort and warmth of light. If you think about it, most of the holiday season festivities are built around the concept of sustaining ourselves during the darkest time of the year. Of course, many take the comfort to extremes, but that is a discussion for later.
The other night (really only 5:30 pm) I was walking down a darkened street in Sacramento's Midtown district and came upon my favorite lighting store, Lumens. The large windows were filled with wonderful, colorful, unusual and beautiful lamps, light fixtures, and chandeliers. The store is design oriented and also carries household items by Alessi, Chillwich, and many others. It is high end, but most of the stock are things you'd keep for many years, and maybe even pass down. For more, go to: http://www.lumens.com/.
If you are into design, I recommend Metropolis magazine. They have a straightforward practice of including all the design areas, from urban design and planning down to lighting design, in their palette. Always something interesting there to check out. For more, go to: http://www.metropolismag.com.