25th December 2000
The bells on her nightdress jingled and shook as she, a little girl, kicked in her sleep; Santa was on his way, and little girl Lucy couldn’t sleep still. The clock ticked and the air was still, the only bells heard were those ringing in Lucy’s pink, alert ears – time passed, full of tosses and turns. The digital red numbers struck 6! The little girl’s eyes flicked open, holly green pools swimming with delight…
A kick of little Lucy’s feet and the sheets flew upwards, billowing as she tumbled ecstatically from beneath. Christmas was here! Bethlehem’s star awaiting Lucy atop the tree… Gift wrap galore, ribbons and bows, bubbles and boxes. Teddies and cars, sweets and lollies in jars…
Lucy trembled with excitement, her hairs standing on end, finger tips tingling, eyes glistening and a happy squeal bundling up in her throat. But there was one more delight for this little girl Lucy to perhaps behold; she had heard whisperings from her Grandmother that snow had fallen on Christmas morning burying England in a fluffy freezing blanket, inches deep. It was the 25th, had snow been born from the clouds? Little Lucy’s hand gripped the curtains and tugged them apart! Outside was what it usually was on Christmas day, brick houses all lit up, the streetlights dimming and the early birds twittering…but still the waking sun was without comfort, as its rays fumbled through thick fog, only to land upon the cold frosty pavement…the sun rays scarcely reaching little Lucy’s eyes as she searched and searched for that desired blanket of snow.
25th December 2007
Teenage Lucy twisted in bed, her feet wriggling and her skin itching as this year’s hot cold Christmas sweats took hold. Her mind told her, ‘You know Santa isn’t real’, but still stories flicked behind her restless eyelids and her ears pricked, imagining the high, distant song of jingling bells. The digital red numbers struck 6! Lucy, of thirteen was awake! Goosebumps flared upon her skin, and that 6 year old wide-eyed stare fixed in her eyes – and like a fever the thought of surprise raced about her body; touching anywhere it could… She knew everyone was still asleep as she danced alone taken by Christmas day spirit – 7 years on and the spirit still awoke every sleepy sense, provoked every joyous smile, and evoked all young Lucy’s childhood Christmas past…
But before she descended, into the ribbon tied unknown, she felt there was one first surprise to be had; she glanced towards the blind, remembering the snow that had fallen a month too late in January, had the clouds remembered this December? A chill swept silently from beneath the blind… could it be? Careful not to ruin the moment, she crept towards the blind and slowly rolled its wooden folds to the ceiling. Frost speckled the window glass in an excited spatter, from behind the icy glaze. At first, beyond the window appeared to be sprinkled with snowy sugar; young Lucy pressed her baby face up to the glass and peered… and hoped…and peered. 7 years on, and still on this winter’s day, no snow had touched the path.
25th December 2014
Only a few hours after tired, old Lucy had stumbled into her sheets, the spirit of the following day set in naturally; as it always did this date, after lurking impatiently the last 11 months, as the Town Hall chimes signalled midnight. Deep sleep and dreams fought for Lucy’s mind, tugging at the edges of her thoughts, blurring her vision as it fumbled across memories of Christmases past. Inside the sleeping woman, little Lucy was stirring quietly under her skin, just waiting for Christmas day to begin.
At 20 years of age Lucy’s spirit was frowned upon, but it wasn’t the visiting of Saint Nick she desired, or the bundles of cards wishing merry wishes, nor was it the array or smiles surrounding her on Christmas morning… it was the desire for frost, icicles and inches and inches of snow freshly fallen from the hazy white sky. Once more the Town Hall bells rung their majestic call of 6am… was today a white 25th?
Quickly, Lucy awoke… her sheets slid on command away from her body as she stealthily moved to the drapes that cascaded down her window; they were ice cold, and Lucy could watch her own breath as it came and went in a flamboyant rush. Up went the drapes and down as she wrenched open the window and looked hopefully outside. The trees stood tall and magnificent boasting all their beauty in the sun’s morning light, but as always, to the north, the south, the east and the west, naked spindly branches pointed – without a touch of snow. Maybe next year? And as if she were a child once more, the thought of snow next December put a twinkle in her eye.