The things I remember most about the Christmases spent with my family while growing up don't really include the gifts. Though the latest in Cabbage Patch or Hot Wheels technology was always loved and appreciated, what I really took away from all those holiday seasons is probably what you're supposed to take away from them: something akin to the cartoon epiphanies on every Christmas television special--I remember the time that my family spent together. Though my parents worked hard to give us the things we wanted, what is really special to me now are the nights spent buckled into the car, driving around and looking at Christmas lights as I fought with my brother because he was sitting on my half of the seat. Given the financial dire straits so many of us are in this year, it's a good thing to remember that those are the things that really matter. And locally, there's no better place to create holiday memories than the Gaylord Texan. The ICE! exhibit alone is enough to give a kid something to talk about for years, with 14,000 square feet of hand-carved, life-sized ice sculptures. There are ice slides, a candy land, and a nativity scene that really could have been tacky, but instead imparts a frosty charm you won't see anywhere else this holiday season. When you're done freezing your tail off in the 9-degree temperatures inside ICE!, the Gaylord Texan has much more for you to see as part of their Lone Star Christmas extravaganza, including a 1,000-foot-long train set, 1.2 million lights, live reindeer and Santa Claus himself. It's a near overwhelming experience that will be a truly magical memory for years to come. The Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail in Grapevine, invites your family to celebrate the holidays through January 3. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets to ICE! are $20 to $23 for adults, $10 to $12 for kids, and free for children three and younger. Lone Star Christmas exhibits are complimentary. Visit gaylordtexas.com.
Nov. 13-Jan. 3, 2008