In the photos above, New Union Elementary fourth grader Abigail Sherrill springs to meet her brother, Nathan Higginbotham, who returned from Afghanistan in time for Christmas. (Staff photos by Josh Peterson)

It is hard to argue that the magic of the Christmas season has ever been more palpable than it was at New Union Elementary School last Tuesday afternoon (December 9, 2014). All fourth-grader Abigail Sherrill wanted for Christmas was for her brother to return from his deployment in Afghanistan. Her lone Christmas request had barely left her lips as she sat on Santa Claus’ lap in front of the school’s student body when her brother, National Guardsman Nathan Higginbotham – appeared from the rear of the gymnasium ….