The hills are alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas. Welcome to an Ozark Mountain Christmas in Branson, Missouri.

It is likely hard to find a town that celebrates the Christmas Season bigger, better and brighter than Branson. The world is invited to this little tourist town to enjoy the Christmas Season in a community where its citizens openly honor God and County. American service men and women are honored in almost every theater production. The Nativity scenes are displayed as prominently as Santa. How refreshing, how politically incorrect and how wonderful. The town has decked its streets and halls with Christmas beautifully.

The most wonderful time of the year in Branson begins early in November with its “It’s a most wonderful time of year” parade.  Many of the entertainers don their gay apparel for the promenade and give live performance at strategic locations along the way, pure family entertainment for all ages.

No one should miss seeing the Yaakov Smirnoff show. It is a guarantee– you will walk away with your side hurting from laughter, tears in your eyes and a renewed pride in being an American, all from the view of an American immigrant.  Each of the Branson theaters is elegantly decorated for Christmas.

Another must see is the “Trail of Lights”, a drive-thru animation display on the grounds of the Shepherd of the Hills. Allow a least one hour, if it is not crowded, to view the now famous trail that is approximately one mile long turned into a holiday wonderland. You will travel through different lands of holiday music, characters and lights sure to put you in a festive mood. At the end of the tour, you will be at Inspiration Tower, a 230-foot tower that is decked out to be a huge Christmas tree during the holiday season. While pretty to look at in the darkness of night, I recommend taking the elevator to the top during the daylight hours to get the best grand view of the area. The staff begins the holiday decorating in July to be ready for November 1. Cost for family vehicle is $42.41, or per person $11.31 adult and $5.66 per child 4-17.  The Shepherd of the Hills outdoor drama is a summertime theater production that is performed here.

If you are looking for a grandiose state of the art production, the innovative Sight & Sound Theatres fills the bill. The newest Christian Broadway Theater is now in Branson. During the Christmas season, you will witness the Christmas story with live animals, 40-foot-high sets, incredible special effects and a cast of 40. The theater boasts of a 300-foot long wrap around stage. The 2,000-seat theater was full at the performance I attended. The beautiful lobby displays a 30-foot tall-adorned Christmas tree centered under the 54-foot tall interior dome.

Other than at the Christmas season, the production is Noah, the musical.  The animals live on sight in a special barn in the cellar. They are brought to the stage level on performance nights, where they each have their own dressing room equipped with a wall-to-wall gel pad on the floor to ease their standing time and something soft to lay on. I wish my kitchen floor were so equipped. There are two Sight and Sound theaters–the other is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Other productions that bring the Bible to life are given throughout the year. Christmas Story in Branson is priced from $47.99 per adult- $20.09 per child ages 2-12.

Where should you stay while visiting Branson? There are many choices from budget motels to full-service luxury hotels.  I can recommend Branson’s landing area.  There are two Hilton Hotels with water views and within walking distance to the old town shopping and Dick’s Five and Dime Store.  Branson’s Landing has combined shopping and dining along the pedestrian only street. Located in the center is an event area large enough for 5,000 people. From here, you can watch the amazing water fountain show along the Taneycomo Lake front.

The Branson Landing area is a fun place to be. Center Square is home to the huge lighted Christmas tree during the season.  Santa arrives November 15 and resides in the treehouse through December 24th.

The Chamber of Commerce tells me many families scattered throughout the states meet in Branson to celebrate either Thanksgiving or Christmas, what a great idea. I cannot think of a better place to get in the holiday spirit. Branson Missouri reminds every one of the reason for the season.