Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

The Madness of Christmas Toys

In 1983 the Cabbage Patch Kid was the mysterious “it toy,” selling over 100 million to date. Most veterans of the great Cabbage Patch Conflict of ’83 are still confused as to what the fighting was really about.

“They don’t walk, they don’t talk, wet their pants, or grow hair,” said a reporter covering the Cabbage Patch madness. “Most buyers can’t express why this doll is so popular this year, and others can’t explain why they want to buy it.” Then there was the infamous 1983 Cabbage Patch smackdown in Pennsylvania. It culminated in a store manager warding off crazed parents with an aluminum baseball bat.

The next huge Christmas toy was Tickle Me Elmo in 1996. People magazine reported that the Sesame Street character’s doll filled the country with a kind of barbarian “blood lust.” In Canada, an unsuspecting Walmart clerk almost met his doom when three hundred customers stampeded at the sight of the Elmo he held. The clerk suffered a broken rib, a concussion, and a final knockout blow from a white Adidas shoe.

Clearly, the raw energy fueling the search for the perfect Christmas toy is something to behold. The “it” toys of Christmas will continue to come and go—a Xbox 360 (2005), Zhu Zhu Pet (2009), Frozen dolls (2014), Hatchimals (2016), and L.O.L Surprise! (2017)—leaving both joy and havoc in their wake. Much could be said about consumerism or loss of perspective. I suppose one could argue that parents just love their kids. But this sure looks more like the spirit of consumerism than the spirit of Christ.


Heather Wilhelm, “The Madness of Christmas Toys,” Acculturated blog (12-16-15)

Related Sermon Illustrations

The Philippines Has the World’s Longest Christmas Season

A mall-shop worker putting up Christmas décor might seem an ordinary sight in December, November, or even October—but it is August in the Philippines. This majority-Catholic ...

[Read More]

Children Prefer Food Covered in McDonald's Wrapper

In a study included in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine children were shown to overwhelmingly prefer the taste of food that comes in McDonald's wrappers. The study ...

[Read More]