So last night at midnight, 97.1 finished up their six weeks of Christmas songs and switched back to their regular crap. Bleh.
It’s always a little sad. The festive songs get put away until next November and they’re back to the normal work-safe light rock and pop stuff. No more Sleigh Ride. No more Silver Bells. No more Winter Wonderland. No more Frosty the Snowman. Sigh.
But of course, there are the ones I will not miss. Namely, ones I’ve ranted about before. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (especially that obnoxious Perry Como version!). And others.
And… The Christmas Shoes.
Yeah, you know the one I mean. About the guy in line to buy presents who’s in a Charlie-Brown-ish “what’s the point?” mindset, and a boy in front of him is trying to buy shoes for his dying mother.
I mean, I get the point of the song, but it’s just so over-the-top cutesy. The singer sounds like he’s in tears through the whole thing, for one. And the bit about the boy being dirty and wearing old clothes? Not sure what that’s about. Implying he’s poor or isn’t being well taken care of? Then the reason he’s buying the shoes. Yes, they’ll make her smile. That is the reason for buying any gift. But also that he wants her to look beautiful if she “meets Jesus tonight”. Which is just their cute “innocent” little child-like way of saying she’ll die on Christmas Eve.
But it’s okay! She has some shoes her son gave her only after a kind stranger helped him pay for them. They made her smile! But… she still dies. And she won’t have the shoes when she meets Jesus because you don’t take nothin’ with you but your soul. Though she dies having been given them so maybe that’s all that matters.
Then again, the song isn’t so much about the boy and his mother as it is about the guy observing him and helping him pay for the shoes. The Christmas miracle here isn’t so much that the boy’s family was helped out, but that the guy made the boy happy by helping him buy the shoes. And this guy was sure that God sent this boy to remind him what Christmas was about!
The song just sort of hammers that little message, complete with the “if Mama meets Jesus tonight” said by a child that makes adults wet themselves from a cute attack (South Park’s “Ladder to Heaven” anyone?), with such force that it’s rather off-putting. It also reminds me of one of those stupid e-mail forwards I saw several years back, same basic story, of a little boy trying to buy special gifts for his mother and his sister, who had already died, but didn’t have enough money until a kind stranger (narrator) gave it to him. The message being that the mother and sister were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver, so it was one of those “this is what happens when you drink and drive” things.
And, hell, for all the guy knows, the boy probably totally swindled him, didn’t actually have a dying mom but just wanted to get free shoes to then sell on the black market. 😆