Driving south on that horrible stretch of Hwy 63 into the central Ozarks, the little German towns are lit up with Christmas cheer. Freeburg's Sinclair dinosaur is sitting on top of the white clapboard building, just as he is every day of the year, but his artificial orange fall leaves are taken down from his neck and replaced with Christmas decorations. Homes along the route pull out all the stops to make the drive a little less painful and white knuckle-inducing (especially at dusk with the onslaught of bright headlamps from oncoming traffic).
In years past, the Santas have been organized in rows, about 10 rows stretching to back of the large property. This year, they're randomly organized. At least, they were a few weeks ago. But this year, the Santas seem to be moving around.
On a recent drive I saw the proprietor outside with a jumbled lot of extension cords and another large grouping of Santas in the other side of the house. Driving past on my way back north, the Santas had been reorganized. Or more added. This mutable display is quite spectacular at night when all the figures are lit up against the 6 pm dark skies.
Nearing the town of Vichy, notice a second house that continues to escalate their Christmas decorations to almost the same level as the folks in Vienna. All of these reminders of joy and peace and happiness make all the difference.