Christmas Tales - Brandon Witt

Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce

Snowfall is indistinguishable from starlight when you’re in the forest at night and peer up at the sky through heavy evergreen branches. You don’t even need to squint your eyes. Against the unpolluted Rocky Mountain sky, with the steam of your breath wafting in front of your face, the stars seem to drift lightly down from the heavens, glistening and magical, landing around you like so many frozen jewels.

I always say my favorite part of Christmas is my Gay Boy Christmas Dinner, but it isn’t, even though I love it. This is my favorite part. A couple of miles deep in the woods, my annual solitary snowshoe hike every Christmas Eve. Yeah. This is my favorite part. I’m done with the cooking prep and house cleaning of the two days before. The house is clean, glowy, and festive. My most current attempt to outdo the boys for the Horny Elf Exchange was wrapped under the tree. There were only a few last minute chores to do before the boys arrived Christmas afternoon. Everything done, everything ready, every item on the list checked off. Only thing left to do for the evening is listen to Christmas music with my earbuds and meander through a winter wonderland. Perfection.

This particular Christmas Eve snowshoe hike is especially enchanting. Most of the time, we don’t have a white Christmas. It’s a misnomer that Colorado is the land of holiday snow. Most of the time, I’m snowshoeing through week-old snow that’s little more than crunchy ice. But not this year. I could practically hear Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and that other chick sing “Snow” in four-part harmony while riding the train to Vermont.

Actually, it was a little more than beautiful. I would have advised anyone else to turn back half an hour before. The thick snowfall, while gorgeous, makes it easy to become disoriented. Most people would get so turned around, they’d not find their way out until New Year’s. I’m not most people, though. Nope, Paxton Peterson is not your everyday snowshoer. Or everyday anything else, for that matter. Remember those lists for the Gay Boy Christmas Dinner I mentioned earlier? Well, list isn’t really the most appropriate term. Never mind I’ve hosted this dinner for the past twelve years, I still make outlines, charts, and reminders for every single step. Steve Sun arrives with his trick of the month in tow? No problem—already have a place setting waiting to be retrieved from the spare bedroom. Gabe Rice forgot the Horny Elf Exchange for the third year running? Come on, challenge me here, that’s for amateurs. There are three extra Horny Elf gifts wrapped and ready to go, just in case. They’re not as good as mine, of course, but serves him right.

I’m the triple A of type A personalities. My Backpack of Safety alleviates any worry the snowfall might cause.

I don’t know why more people don’t prepare for things adequately. It really does cause less stress. And, no, I wasn’t a Boy Scout. I might not meet their approval, being the gay man that I am, but I figure that it’s actually fair. They don’t meet my approval either. I’ve never met a Boy Scout who was half as prepared as I am for anything.

Not that I go around meeting Boy Scouts.

While I might be prepared for every eventuality, I can’t brag that I’m in the best shape. Some people describe me as skinny. I’m not fond of those people. I have a swimmer’s build. If the swimmer never swam and had no definition. And if the swimmer was kick-ass in the kitchen. Yep. Some people might go so far as to describe me as soft skinny or fat skinny. Really, really don’t like those people.

Maybe if I spent a touch more time in the gym like my gay card says I am supposed to, the events of this Christmas Eve might have gone differently.

They might have gone like this:

I’m nearing the top of a snow-covered hill, thick with forty-foot tall Christmas trees. Moving fairly quickly, excited to see the white expanse that waits just beyond the crest, there wouldn’t have been an issue. The snowmobile, unheard over Glee’s version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” would have zoomed over the ridge, caught air, headed back down in my direction, and I would have merely pirouetted out of the way as gracefully as a sugar plum fairy. The snowmobile would zoom on by and out of sight, leaving Copyright 2016 - 2024