When I was 13 years old, I wanted only one thing for Christmas – a jukebox. I had no idea where one would come from or how it would get into my house. I was clueless about how much such things cost or how hard they were to find. I only knew it was what I wished for.
Christmas morning came and my siblings and I rushed to the living room to see what had been left for us. My pickings looked pretty slim. One small square box. True, the box was somewhat heavy, but it was just one box, and unless my jukebox was an inflatable, my dream gift was not in there. As I opened my one measly gift and looked inside at the collection of vinyl 45s, I thought “well, at least I have a record player I can play them on.”
Then my dad asked that I come downstairs to the walkout basement level. And there, in all its retro and lit up glory, was my jukebox, happily playing “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”. I had given up on my dream too soon. All I needed was a little faith that the people who loved me would always try to see that my wishes came true.
Now, in 2017, it is one of the most important parts of my life to give my best effort to make sure my family’s and my friends’ wishes come true. I can’t give them the moon from a financial standpoint, but they always have faith I will do what I can to make their lives easier, simpler, and less stressful. Just as I know my parents scoured the Commonwealth of Kentucky to find a mint condition jukebox for me, I would go to almost any extreme to make a difference in the lives of those I love.
And during the holidays, isn’t this what we think about most? How to make others happy; how to truly make a difference in their lives; how to impact a home, a church, a team, a workplace, a community. We all find our unique way of making that difference, and sometimes it isn’t exactly how we thought it would be.
Sometimes we figure out we don’t need the whole jukebox when one song will make someone’s day. We don’t need bright lights or snazzy record-changing action when the tune playing on the radio inspires someone to dance. Sometimes all we need is the little box of 45s. And sometimes we are able to give the whole jukebox full of music and smiles and laughter. Sometimes we can make wishes come true.