The Worst Christmas Song I’ve Ever Heard
In general, I’m a bit of a humbug when it comes to Christmas music. The local easy listening radio station, 97.1 WASH-FM, plays Christmas music 24/7 from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I don’t know what they’re Nielson numbers are, but I imagine they’re good enough during this month long jingle assault to justify bringing us holiday cheer for such a long stretch. Were you to chuck your car radio out your window on the Beltway, you’d still be subjected to the 24/7 Jingle Apocalypse because every store you go into will be playing 97.1 on their speakers or their own brand of holiday cheer from a CD sent over by corporate headquarters.
Now I will admit, there are a handful of Christmas songs that I quite like. The one that makes you feel guilty for living in a country that spends more on war than it does on children is great. The one about giving away your heart last year only to have it stomped all over is strangely cathartic for me. Oh, and the one that WASH-FM never plays about the guy who meets Santa in Hollis Queens is my fucking holiday jam! But there’s one song that I had never heard until this past weekend that makes me lose faith in the holiday entirely.
Yes, I speak of “Christmas Shoes.”
Somehow, in my thirty-five years of existence, I had never before been subjected to the horror of this sadistic evil. It starts out innocently enough. A humbug of a man stands in line in a shopping maul ready for the holiday to be over and done with. I can totally relate to the sentiment. He notices a small, dirty boy in front of him with a pair of shoes. When the boy steps up to pay for the pair with rolls of pennies, the humbug of a man regards the scene with curiosity. So far, so good. Since it’s a Christmas song, we can pretty much guess that the kid won’t have enough and that either the store clerk will take mercy upon the young lad and give him the shoes anyway thus melting the humbug’s heart or the humbug himself will step forth to pay for the shoes.
This is where the song takes a turn.
The clerk shakes his head and says he can’t help the little sir. Store policy dictates that even on Christmas Eve, the epitome of the season of giving, if you don’t have the cash, you don’t get the shoes. The child launches in to his sob story. He wants to buy his mom the shoes. Awwww. No no. There’s more. He wants to buy his mom the shoes so that she can look her best in case she meets Jesus. See, “she’s been sick for quite a while, and I know these shoes would make her smile.”
Wait. The. Fuck. Up.
What kind of fucked up values are these parents teaching this kid?! Oh shit, mommy’s got some nasty hammer toe. Her nails are all cracked and that athlete’s foot has rotted her skin something fierce. You know, Jesus don’t like a sloppy woman. You ain’t walking into them pearly gates without some new pumps! Jesus likes him some toes, if you know what I’m sayin’.
What a fucking crock! What a fucking evil emotionally manipulative way to sentimentalize capitalism! Mommy doesn’t want some fucking shoes. Mommy wants to see junior by her bedside before she kicks the bucket.
There are some alternate possibilities which don’t make this any better. One, mommy could have sent the kid out because she wants to have sex with daddy one last time. Two, this kid does this at every department store to scam people out of their money. Actually, the sex one isn’t too bad. But still, this is absolutely fucked.
Also, fuck the cashier. These busted ass shoes can’t be all that much, certainly not enough to break the bank for the cashier. Hell, shit gets stolen from department stores all the time. Write that shit off as a loss and give the dirty kid his magical fucking shoes. Spirit of giving, my ass. Spirit of heartless capitalism, more like.
So the humbug of a man pays for the shoes and sings the following:
I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about
It’s not about the kid or the mom at all! It’s all about me! That day, my heart grew ten sizes bigger because I bought some dirty kid some fucking shoes so he could put them on the cold dying feet of his mother! I’m so awesome! God totally set up this fucked up situation to remind me that buying things for others is what Christmas is all about.
This song is absolutely the worst Christmas song ever. And what makes me lose faith in the spirit of the holiday is that not only did this dirty piece of filth hit number one on the adult contemporary charts, some dumb fucker over at CBS greenlit a made-for-TV movie based on this song staring Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams. ARGH!!!!!
If you’ve read all of this, I feel that you have been properly warned at the utter filth that will fill your ears should you click on the play button. If there are people around you, please use your headphones. Unless you hate them. Or want to share the misery.
I present to you, sigh, “Christmas Shoes.” I’m so, so sorry.
I’d like to thank Danielle for exposing me to this terror. “Thank” may not be the proper word. But it’s her fucking fault for this.