“Christmas Preparations”

“He watched with silent fascination as his mother opened the boxes containing the invocatory ceremonial utensils, as holy for him as any shining on a church’s altar. There was the small Christmas tree that one wound up and set spinning. As it rotated holiday music emerged from an internal mechanism, invisibly, as if by magic. A sleigh the size of a shoe box had been delicately carved and covered in velveteen. A man and his wife rode in this sleigh, the former holding shoestring reins and steadying prancing horses. The Nativity scene filled the fireplace; it was a minor work of art designed by his grandmother and partially constructed by his dad.  Grandma was artistically gifted and had earned some acclaim for her miniature-doll houses and Christmas décor, every detailed element of which she made by hand. The well in this Nativity was constructed from local pebbles, carefully matched and then glued together. Magi wore capes, hats, and shoes sewn from scratch out of tiny pieces of fabric, leather, and fur.  Jesus’ manger was of balsa wood and his bedding, of real straw. His father had built the stable out of wooden sticks stained to look old and worn. Everything about the scene evoked what he imagined to be the actual appearance of the birth place.  He marveled at the skill of his father and grandmother to first conceive and then assemble such a complex mise en scène. One of his favorite decorations was an eighteen-inch-high Santa whose eyes and beard glowed moony white when he was plugged into an electrical outlet.  He leaned back from his waist, belly protuberant, smile self-contented, hands stuffed deep in his pockets, like a patron saint presiding over his unique and delightful holiday. Festoons of origami-like paper icicles stretched from one side of the front window to the other. A white carpet of faux snow lay atop the bookcase in the living room and on it stood a variety of scarved carolers, carrot-nosed snowmen, barking dogs, and pie-bearing grannies: all the size of small salt-and-pepper shakers.”

Richard Maddox

Richard Dietrich Maddox's writing focuses on the search for permanent happiness, the goal of finding paradise on earth, the attainment of human Enlightenment. His work, though fiction, attempts to convey the profound spiritual Truth passed on to humanity by Enlightened Masters. Maddox approaches spiritual wisdom from a Western level of experience, presenting characters to whom readers can easily relate, offering situations in which readers might well have found themselves. His work offers, in a style which those living in the West will find understandable, the possibility of blissful existence.

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