At my childhood home on Nicholson Street near downtown Richland, located in southwest Georgia, Christmas was truly a magical time of the year; filled with fantastic food, stunning decorations and a plethora of family and friends visiting frequently, to enhance the festive celebration.

Our momma made the finest Christmas candy that could be concocted; although the recipe was borrowed from Nanny, and is formally named divinity, at our house, it was only offered during the winter holidays.  I do remember that you cannot concoct the confection in rainy weather; it will not setup during times of high humidity; the divinity created by Nanny was white as snow, but that was not the case at my childhood home.

To add a stroke of drama to the truly joyful season, momma encouraged experimenting with the set of McCormick Food Coloring that was stored in the back of the spice cabinet; a small packet of four solutions, containing red, yellow, green and blue hues used for coloring foods and dyeing eggs at Easter.  The contemporary colors were presented in tiny bottles with cute plastic tops denoting the color inside, but back in the day, ours were in minuscule glass bottles with tiny metal screw-on tops.  One thing was for certain, you developed unsightly stains on your fingers that could not be erased for days.

Every year we had various colors of green and pink divinity but David and I thought the color did not matter, we wanted to enjoy that incredible tasting concoction that we only had once a year.  I remember ribbon candy and decadent fudge that was loaded with pecans from our yard, spiced nuts and exotic pies and cakes but we looked forward to the divinity.

This particular year brother David and I received our regular bounty of new clothing items, a few select toys and puzzles, opened under that wonderful smelling cedar tree that was decorated with bubble lights, interesting ornaments and draped with silver colored aluminum tinsel.

When everyone completed opening their gifts and expressing words of appreciation, daddy went to the door, gazed into the yard and announced that there was one particular gift that could not fit under the tree.  We dashed past him into the yard to discover a gigantic red bow attached to the tallest aluminum sliding board we had ever seen.  Wow!  

There are two distinct memories about the slide; I will never forget learning to use waxed paper to increase the speed at which you went down the slide, and the gigantic hole that was wallowed out by the constant line of neighborhood children enjoying a most unusual toy.

As always, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas, and remember the birth of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is the true reason for the celebration.  


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