It was the light of the moon catching the frost on the branches of the pine trees that shaped the silhouettes in the darkness of the forest and the soft crunch of snow underfoot that carpeted the way between the trees. Every breath a cloud of steam being the only warmth amongst those razor sharp sparkles of brilliant white pin points of light off tiny crystals of ice.
When I think of the magic of Christmas Eve I feel this Narnia-esque vision; even in adulthood. Work finished for the year, the calm after the colossal mayhem of Christmas shopping at an end. Christmas Eve. The word Eve itself has some kind of quietness about it. A calmness and frosty night with more hope for the future than New Year’s Day.
I may not be physically alone on Christmas Eve, but even so I’ve been single for a number of years and on top of this still have my secret. I say secret but I suspect more people know about Hannah than they’re letting on. We’re just not, well, speaking about it yet. It’s not quite the elephant in the room but even so some clues over the last few years have been dropped into conversation and yet the time didn’t quite feel right to just get it out in the open. “Did you hear there is a new transgendered character in Hollyoaks?” a family member once said to me.
“You don’t even watch Hollyoaks, why are you talking about this? You hate soaps.” was what I didn’t say. In fact I don’t even watch it anymore and that character has been and gone some years ago; that’s how long ago that conversation was. All I did was shrug it off, “Oh right.” Pathetic.
Since then things have changed. As have some of my everyday clothes. Some are close to being a skirt short of being obvious. Yet on Christmas Eve I have that magical feeling inside. Will someone step up and give me some kind of present that just kind of says in it’s way, “We know, so talk to us when you’re ready.” I kind of thought that last year with a present I had. I couldn’t think of one man that I know that would have something like this for Christmas. A beautiful glossy lipstick red hair dryer. But despite this my jury is still out and I’m unlikely to get a lipstick red dress any time soon. I somehow think that would be a positive sign.
For a few years, each Christmas, I would buy myself a present. Something that no one in their right mind would likely buy me but at least I would get something for Christmas that is just right for me. Usually some clothing of some kind, nightwear or the like. It’s been a while but in recent times I think it got to the point I was questioning whether doing this sort of thing just made me feel a touch more isolated. Still keeping some kind of secret when what I’m trying to do is slowly make my way from between those frosted trees and finding the opening in the sky with a constellation in view where every opportunity for my future happiness waits.
Of course I crumbled this year and promptly spent the small bonus I had from work. It arrived, it didn’t fit, I sent it back and still await the replacement. Due today, Christmas Eve. Cutting the materialistic happiness side of me rather fine.
As Christmas Eve approaches and the visions of that icy forest become sharp and clear. My fingers running through the pine tree needles and the dust of snow flakes fall to the ground I relish in the solitude and my own thoughts of who I am. For tomorrow I will be surrounded by my family and there will be little time to think about me – I’ll just be me. May be they don’t need to know my name when they pretty much know about the rest of me without actually knowing.