Merry Christmas Story

By Brenda S. Brown


Imagination is a wonderful thing and Brother David and I were raised in an environment that encouraged us to use these gifts during our playtimes.  Our parents and Scott grandparents found ways to keep us interested in reading, learning, creative playing and what I fondly remember as building castles in the air; I know this does not sound like a Christmas story, but it is, I promise.

Nanny had a magical spot in her side-yard; a place filled with fantasy where we played undisturbed for hours, pretending all sorts of wonderful scenarios.  As a place of wonder, a true living object, at the crossroads of Warner Road and Scott's Store Road, it is where we played imaginary games and discovered extraordinary things.

In the spring, the castle was a giant green umbrella that sheltered us from an unexpected shower of rain, and also where we discovered beautiful rainbows when the precipitation dripped from the canopy.  I distinctly remember the beautiful pink flowers and curious long beans that appeared each year.  The flowers floated in the air like crimson helicopters and littered the surrounding lawn with dramatic color.  We planted dozens of those peculiar beans in the soft sand in the adjoining ditch, thinking they would grow a Jack in the Beanstalk plant that we could climb into the storybook heaven.

During the summer months, the magic castle is where we climbed out on a strong limb, we each had our favorite one, and watched the world go by; we believed that we were hidden by the strange shaped green branches, and enjoyed the gentle breezes that come along frequently.  From the high perches I dreamed of faraway places and floated on imaginary fluffy clouds.  In the autumn, it became a giant yellow balloon with weeping branches that covered the adjacent area.

During the winter, our magic castle evolved into Santa's workshop when we peered through a make believe window trying to imagine what wonders St. Nick and his elves were crafting for our personal enjoyment.  Under our creatively decorated Christmas tree in Richland were always great surprises.  Of course David was apprehensive about receiving a bag of coal because he was sometimes involved in unfortunate incidents that greatly reduced his chances of receiving pleasant surprises.  Somehow though, he always received a last minute reprieve from Santa, as well it should be with active and precocious children.

That gigantic Mimosa tree, which thrived for countless time there at the crossroads in Terrell County, has been gone for years, but the memories of those days linger; how fortunate we were to experience unconditional love that began during our childhood years.  And back in Richland, we decorated a beautiful tree and enjoyed a traditional Christmas Eve and morning filled with memorable traditions.

So, from the Brown family in Baldwin County, to our family and friends all over the country, we wish you a holiday filled with love, peace and joy; Merry Christmas to you, and Happy Birthday to Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

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