Everyone can use a little light this year – or maybe a lot. Homeowners and businesses can provide that light and give a boost to nonprofits at the same time, by using their imagination and decorating their properties with a colorful holiday light display.

The Holiday Trail of Lights contest celebrates the season  with a friendly competition between homes and businesses to “out-decorate” each other — all to benefit community nonprofits.

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Then, families can hop in their car, armed with a downloadable map, and follow the Trail of Lights to ooh and ahh at the displays – and choose their  absolute favorites.

Businesses and homeowners participate by choosing a partner nonprofit and signing up at www.trailoflightsme.com, said Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel Chamber of Commerce Director Laura Dolce. There is a $25 entry fee and the deadline for entries is end of day Nov. 23. Participants will be divided into two categories – businesses and homes— and winners will be awarded in each category, she said.

Dolce said spectators will be asked to vote for participants who create “the most festive, over-the-top, Hallmark-worthy displays” on the Holiday Trail of Lights website, for $5 a vote. One hundred percent of the donated funds will go to the nonprofit partner of the house or business receiving the vote, and Grand Prize winners will receive an extra $500 for their selected organization.

Every vote will be entered into a Grand Prize Holiday Drawing to win one of three staycation packages at local hotels, so everyone wins.

All the rules for participants and those who drive around to choose which display will get their vote, are on the www.trailoflightsme.com website. Here are a few: Participants must have their lights up Dec. 1 to 28, and on from 4 to 9 p.m. each night. Winners will be announced on Jan. 5.

Participants are asked to be considerate of neighbors when it comes to music, noise and lights – and drivers are asked to be considerate as well, by staying in their car, not blocking driveways or curb fronts, and refrain from tooting their horns.