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Going above and beyond to show the spirit of the season

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Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 11:18 pm | Updated: 12:29 am, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

SARASOTA COUNTY - From tiny Christmas villages to large elaborate displays, you likely know someone who goes above and beyond to help themselves and their neighbors get into the spirit.

There are those like June Lee Reninger in Venice, who go all out. "It's a lot of work but most the time a lot of fun."

Some of her Christmas flair goes back more than 70 years. "When they come in they will say things like oh I remember that when I was a kid or my Mom and my Dad had some of these pieces."

Speaking of pieces. "I think it's 456." Rich Carroll and his wife Nancy host nearly 6,000 visitors to their Nokomis home each year. It's perhaps the largest Christmas village you may ever see. "Kids that are four and five years old that just really love and stand up with eyes wide open. They look at it and go look at that Mommy and look at that Daddy."

The moving pieces and flickering lights bringing out your imagination and perhaps the kid inside. "Even grumpy old guys like me look at it and saw wow."

Wow does not even begin to describe the scene down the road. "We've been doing it for about 25 years. We have 200,000 lights."

You would be hard pressed to top the David, Sandy, and Bob Enander. "We start around Halloween. I have a large work crew of a wife and four kids."

You know you have quite the display when you need a decorated port-a-potty because literally bus loads of people come. They say more than 15,000 stop by each year. "It's a way for families to just enjoy Christmas. It's not the mall and all the pressure. It's just have fun. We have some people who come out two or three time a week. They bring other friends. It is all word of mouth."

About now the question you are you might be wondering other then where do they keep it all is how about that electric bill? "Everyone always asks that and we never tell. It goes up huge. They put us on a watch. They thought we were growing marijuana."

Other than a high bill, what do they get out of it? "The house feels so much more cheerful," says Reninger.

"People get a charge out of it. I get a charge out of it too," says Carroll.

"Part of the fun is the challenge," says Enander.

A few cheery faces go a long way too. For those last two displays you can still go check them out.  They are located in the Mission Valley area and will open through the first of the year.

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