Christmas Shoes: The Classic Holiday Tale of a Strange Boy Buying a Pair of Shoes to Put on His Dead Mother’s Feet
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I am a sucker for two-thirds of the big fall holidays, with a particular weakness for the bright shininess of the Christmas season. I feel a flutter of excitement when I get a red cup at Starbucks or a Coke can with a Santa on it, I willingly plan entire evenings around the broadcast of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and I consider eggnog to be the 8th wonder of the world. By the week of Thanksgiving, my radio is permanently tuned to the one station in town dedicated to annoying 90% of its listeners with continuous Christmas carols.
Of course, the downside to constantly listening to Christmas carols for over a month is that there are only so many Christmas carols. And most of them are terrible. And the only thing worse than a terrible Christmas song is hearing that same Christmas song pounded mercilessly into your head a minimum of three times a day. However, as much as I may dislike hearing Celine Dion pa-rum-pum-pumming her weird little French-Canadian heart out, nothing – NOTHING – compares to the absolute burning hatred I have for that awful, fucking Christmas Shoes song.
If you haven’t heard this monstrosity, well…I was going to post a link to a clip of it here, but on second thought, if you have somehow managed to avoid hearing this steaming pile of a song, I’m certainly not going to be the one to force it upon you. I fear that will happen soon enough. Now navigate away – fly, fly! – so that you may remain blissful in your ignorance. That is my Christmas gift to you.
For the rest of us poor bastards who’ve had our ears sodomized by this schlocky crime against humanity, let’s examine the song a little further, shall we? First off, allow me to recap the story the song is trying to tell:
- Some ass is in line at the mall buying last-minute Christmas gifts;
- He sees some raggedy poor kid in line who’s trying to buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother so that she will look nice when she kicks it and “meets Jesus” that night;
- Raggedy Kid tries to buy the shoes with PENNIES (because poor people deal only in pennies), and – of course – he does not have enough;
- Ass in Line buys Raggedy Kid the damn shoes and is reminded of the true meaning of Christmas;
- Blinded with rage, Jive Turkey drives her car through a drugstore window.
Now, as a listener, this song presents some problems for me:
- If your mother is dying (presumably within hours), why would you GO TO THE MALL?
- How the fuck does a kid that young get to the mall unless an adult took him there – and what kind of adult takes a kid to the mall when HIS MOTHER IS ON HER DEATHBED?
- Presuming an adult accompanied this kid to the mall, why can’t the adult just pay for the fucking shoes already? Even poor folks have credit cards, my friends. And finally,
- Please take a moment to picture what it would look like to see a terminally ill woman laying in a hospital bed, gasping for her last painful breath, and WEARING RED HIGH HEELS.
It’s not so much the absurd nature of this song that offends me, it’s the obnoxious, sappy, melodramatic cuteness of it all, and hoo-boy, I really hate me some obnoxious, sappy, melodramatic cuteness.
The only thing that makes this song remotely bearable for me is the fact that I always picture the dying woman’s “Christmas Shoes” to look a little something like this:
“I want her to look beautiful when Mama meets Jesus tonight…and they enter a costume contest at the local drag bar.”
Entry filed under: Taste my Backhand.