As a way of getting into the Christmas spirit, I met my friend Alissa for a visit to the Gaylord Texan hotel and the Shrek the Halls ICE exhibit. Man, that hotel was amazing! It was decorated so beautifully with lights everywhere, a full-sized gingerbread house, and of course, Santa waiting to meet the kids.
The ICE exhibit - all I can say is WOW! When you first go in, they show a movie explaining where all the ice comes from, how the carvers go about creating the sculptures, etc. It's really neat! Then they give everybody a big blue parka (I put it on OVER my wool winter coat) and you bundle up and enter the frigidness. It is so colorful and detailed, and the whole Shrek gang was there - Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots, the dragon, the Big Bad Wolf, and even Pinocchio. They had a slide made out of ice that you could slide down - it went a lot faster than I expected - and various other places where visitors could interact with the story (like an outhouse where you could sit on a frozen toilet - brrr!). It really was incredible.
The Shrek exhibit was really cool (ha! no pun intended) and colorful, but I think my favorite part was in the last room where they had a full nativity carved out of ice. It was amazing, and a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of the season. Sure, it's fun to look at lights and decorate trees and visit Santa, but it call comes down to Jesus - without Him, there would be no Christmas!