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Ho, Ho, Humongous
Alvaro Diaz-Rubio

Ho, Ho, Humongous

The Gaylord Texan is gay...and bright


The Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine has taken everything that's big and lavish about a Texas Christmas and made it bigger. Who cares about snow when you can bask in the glory of 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice, right? The 14,000-square foot ice spectacle won't be the only over-the-top attraction. For the state that thrives on the motto "Anything you can do, I can do bigger," the Gaylord Texan delivers. Let's look at the resort by the numbers, shall we? 1.2 million lights. Two 25-foot Christmas trees. Twenty replicas of Texas historic buildings. Eight garden-scale trains. And 500 candles on a replica of a live oak tree. When it comes to opulent resorts and state residents still lobbying for secession, Texas just seems to, well, dominate. Throughout the merry season (through January 2), the Gaylord Texan will brim with strolling carolers, fattening food and other holiday favorites. If you aren't already sick of it all, or if you have children, you may want to drive around the joyfully festooned grounds. The lights reflecting off the lake at night aren't too shabby. Shop, visit Relâche Spa or take the little ones to see Santa. If you're really on top of things, capitalize on the great photo ops for next year's Christmas card or if, once again, you've procrastinated, this year's. The resort has big traffic, too, so plan for delays. Self-parking is $7, but if you eat at one of the four main restaurants, it's validated. We recommend calling ahead for a reservation. There's definitely enough here to put sugar plum-shaped stars in your kid's eyes. And, let's face it, ours if we weren't quite so cynical. The Gaylord Texan is located at 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. Admission prices vary per attraction. Call 866-782-7897 or visit --Emily Jacobs


Gaylord Texan Christmas

Purls of Wisdom


Knitting is such a primitive craft, and we mean that in the best way possible: It doesn't take fancy gadgets or electricity, just two sticks and a ball of string. Just because the tools are simple doesn't mean that knitting is bland, however. Before you whip up a bunch of scarves this Christmas, consult the book New Knits on the Block: A Guide to Knitting What Kids Really Want by Vickie Howell, host of the DIY Network's Knitty Gritty. Howell's book offers knitting moms (or dads or aunts) projects such as a mermaid dress-up set, bowling pins and a wizard's hat. For knit picks to make your tykes grin, meet Vickie Howell on December 11, 2 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, 616 Preston Royal Shopping Center. Call 214-363-0924. --Michelle Mathews

Alphabet Soup


When author Sue Grafton had the brilliant idea to build a mystery series around the alphabet, all the other whodunit writers slapped their foreheads and said, "Why didn't I think of that?" That big letter makes Grafton's books easy to find on the shelf and each appellation is sinister, more or less: alibi, burglar, corpse, deadbeat, evidence, fugitive, gumshoe, homicide, innocent, judgment, killer, lawless, malice, noose, outlaw, peril, quarry, ricochet and, now, Silence, the 19th in the series. Readers keep coming back for more of sleuth Kinsey Milhone, so thank goodness there are still seven letters left, though some are problematic. Suggestions: Timid, Underwear, Vacillate, Widow, X-rated, Yegg, Zombie. Grafton signs her newest book at 2 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books & Music, 10720 Preston Road. Call 214-363-1977. --Glenna Whitley

Capturing the Storm


There are few people who actually want to remember the devastating hurricane season of 2005. But with the waves of destruction and tens of thousands of displaced persons it sent forth, we can't forget it. Dallas' media had the opportunity to capture that history, with all of its sorrow and even the small joys, in extreme close-up. One newspaper shares this experience in Eyes of the Storm--Hurricanes Katrina & Rita: The Photographic Story from The Dallas Morning News. The event begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 616 Preston Royal Shopping Center. Admission is free. Call 214-363-0924. --S. Anne Durham


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