If there was ever a night where magic is in the air, Christmas Eve is it.
Think back— have you ever been in a bad mood on Christmas Eve? Yes, maybe stressed from wrapping last-minute gifts… but I always feel so happy, so hopeful, so giving… so ALIVE on Christmas Eve.
In fact, one of my favorite songs (well, Christmas songs…) is Old City Bar by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Anyway, this song encapsulates the feeling of Christmas Eve for me.
One of the lyrics goes:
And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It’s easier to believe
That rang true for me one Christmas Eve in Maui. While I lived there, I was an active participant in a website called Couchsurfing.com. Couchsurfing is a global network of people that are willing to let a perfect stranger sleep on their couch (or other such device… bed, floor, hammock, whatever…). I hosted over 100 people in Maui.
On this Christmas Eve (after church under the stars, oceanfront) I took my Couchsurfers out to a bar for a few beverages with my new friend Lex. Lex had just moved to island and didn’t have many friends, so her and I clicked immediately. Plus our senses of humor are nearly identical.
Christian and Kristoffer were the names of the two Couchsurfers, from Sweden. They were in Maui for a few days before heading onto another island and then back to college in San Luis Obispo.
Christian wasn’t much of a drinker… but Kristoffer, Lex and I certainly enjoyed some Holiday Cheer.
Well, early Christmas morning, we decided that since we were still up at 2 AM, we should head up the road to Haleakala Crater and watch the sun rise. Now, this doesn’t seem so crazy, because tourists do it every single day. You usually have to head up the road by 3 AM in order to get there in time for the light show.
I had done it once before– and was only sort of impressed. The day I had gone before was a perfectly clear morning… so the sunrise looked almost normal. If there are clouds, that’s when you can expect a show!
Christian drove the trusty Town Car up the mountain while Lex and I sat in the back seat and sang along to Bette Midler. Don’t ask. Kristoffer was passed out in the passenger seat.
As we were going up the volcano, we passed through so many clouds… and I was excited. Upon arrival, Lex opted to stay in the car because of the chilly weather (40 degrees when you’re 10,000 feet high… even in Hawaii). I wanted to get a good spot.
And I’m glad I did.
Magic. The cloud cover provided a stunningly different view than the time before.
As I watched the sun rise over Maui on this beautiful Christmas morning, I could not help but think of those lyrics from TSO. Here I was, with complete strangers… and it was easier to believe. Believe in Santa. Believe in God. Believe in Christmas. Believe in the future. Believe in nature. Believe in life and what it has in store for you and I.
This Christmas, take a minute and surround yourself with strangers at some point. You’ll see what I mean.
And don’t forget to give me my early Christmas present and go to Pete the Popcorn and let me know that you’ll buy a copy of my first Children’s Book on February 29th— I need support from all readers to crack into the Top 100 on Amazon on LEAP DAY!