My Shrine to Virgin Mary Kitsch
I have a cupboard devoted to the Madonna - glow in the dark; gilded plastic; recuerdos from Panjachel or Tampico embellished with shells; the Virgin of Guadalupe on black velvet; a stamp to create the miracle of the Madonna on toast (holy toast). My friends know this and bring back delightful icons from around the world.
Garage sale plastic rosaries mingle with Greek icons and St. George triptychs from Ethiopia. A prized Virgin of Guadalupe gearshift knob lives between carved Madonnas from Kenya and Guatemala sporting Mexican milagros. And, of course, there are the ever-popular fridge magnets.
Special religious kitsch works its way in, especially the useful like the Wash-Away-Your-Sins Moist Towelette and a plastic St. Anne, the Patron of Lost Objects. (Who doesn't need help finding lost objects?)
The great thing about religious kitsch is that anything goes. Wait! Is that the face of Mary I'm seeing in the mildew at the bottom of the stairs? Are those real tears?