Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thoughts on Christmas Kitsch By Marcia Lee Laycock

I sat at the table for five hours watching people walk by. Every now and then someone would stop and pick up one of my books. I’d chat with them, telling them the book was a collection of devotionals. Sometimes I’d share how the Lord had used it to make a change in someone’s life. Usually they’d smile and move on. They’d move on to buy trinkets at other tables loaded with kitsch – painted plastic santas, angels made of dishtowels, and snowmen made of styrofoam. 
As the day wore on I got a little discouraged. And, as discouragement often does, it started to move into bitterness tinged with anger. Why were these people so eager to grab things that had so little value and would last for such a short time? Why weren’t they more interested in buying something that could nourish their souls? It made me want to scream, but I kept quiet and tried to keep smiling when someone glanced my way.

As I drove home later that day I ruminated. I love that word – it means to turn over and over, as in a cow chewing her cud. And that’s what it felt like as I drove along – my stomach was churning; I was stewing over what had happened, and I wasn’t being very complimentary to those people who had not bought my books.

Then that still small voice whispered from somewhere beyond – “And what about you?”

Me, Lord? Um … What do you mean? 

I didn’t really have to ask. I knew what He meant. I too make choices every day, choices that are just like those kitsch-hunters. I choose things that are of little value and momentary pleasure over the riches and everlasting joys of Christ. Every day.

I was humbled there in my car, and had to do an attitude adjustment. I had to ask God to forgive me for my “holier than thou” thoughts. I had to thank Him for those who did buy my books and thank Him for what he was going to do in their lives through my mere words. And I had to ask Him to forgive me for all those times I’ve chosen the kitsch of the world over Him.

The verses in Deuteronomy filled my mind - “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…” (Deut.30:19-20).

There’s an awful lot of kitsch in this world, especially at this time of year. It’s tempting to allow ourselves to be distracted from the real story of Christmas. As the season unfolds, may we all avoid running after what cannot satisfy. May we all choose life – His life.
Marcia's new ebook novella, An Unexpected Glory will help you turn your eyes to Jesus as we approach the Christmas season.


  1. Thanks Marcia. The baubles of Christmas do attract the eyes and interest of people. The Lord of Christmas wants to make Himself known and I guess He is depending upon us. I need to make sure the reality of the Lord in my life and writings isn't smothered by the kitsch I like.

  2. That is very true. In a humor-tone here...maybe you could have attached a sparkly ornament to your books! Baaahahaaaaa! I'm just kidding. It is so easy to get caught up in it all. May we all be thankful in what we have and don't have.

  3. Thank you for the timely reminder, Marcia. And...I learned a new word. :)

  4. Good challenge and reminder Marcia

  5. Thanks, Marcia. I can well imagine how you must have felt when people chose to buy other things. I feel somewhat the same when doing in-store book signings, as I watch people walk out of the store with an armful of books that doesn't include mine! But as you mentioned, we need to be thankful for those who DO buy our books and also for the little conversations we have along the way.

  6. Marcia what an excellent reminder of how we should react to what we see as negative situations. My conscience was pricked. Thank you for sharing

  7. Thanks for all the comments, folks. You have encouraged me. :)

  8. It reminds me of when I first got saved, and how I was upset that people were ignoring Christ at Christmas. Also reminds me of REV, 10;10 where John eats the scroll. At first it tastes sweet, but then when it settles in his stomach it turns sour. The gospel is sweet life to us, but sour death to the world. Thanks.