Each day until Christmas, I am going to write briefly about a Christmas song I enjoy. Because I can, that’s why. And I an unabashed corny dork. Except today. Today is about the most horrific Christmas song of all time.
Christmas Shoes is the most horrible, un-Christian Christmas song of all time. Not only is it ham-handedly manipulative, not only is it song by someone who never met a note they couldn’t kill, but it has the most appallingly amoral message of any Christmas song I have ever heard.
The premise is terribly shallow. A little kid wants to buy shoes for his dying Mommy so that she can look good for Jesus when she dies. The song starts out trying to tug at our heartstrings by advocating the notion that Jesus cares what you look like, as if the Jimmy Choos would sway St. Peter. It is not an auspicious start to a song supposedly about the meaning of Christmas. I might have been willing to overlook that if the rest of the song didn’t miss the point of Jesus’ ministry just as badly. (No, I wouldn’t)
The end of the song was so stunning, so vacuous, so counter to everything that I have ever been taught about Christianity that I had to find the lyrics to make sure I had heard them correctly. I had. Unfortunately:
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
The little boy in the lyrics is poor, his mother is about to die and he doesn’t have enough money to buy her new shoes. The singer-narrator thinks that God sent him the little boy so that he, the narrator, could be reminded about the true meaning of Christmas. Now, I am going to go out on a limb here a little and suggest that God’s plan does not include killing a young woman and leaving an orphan and widower behind so that some self-satisfied prick in a department store can feel a little bit of heaven’s love. How self-centered, how completely and totally disconnected from the spirit of the Gospels do you have to be to think that God would kill a person and crush a little boy’s heart so that you could learn a little lesson about the spirit of giving? This song couldn’t reek of privilege and clueless-ness any more if it had included a message from God to bet on the Vikings, because He favored them on Sunday. I seriously have to question whether or not this song writer would recognize a Bible if he saw one, because it certainly doesn’t seem as if he has actually read one.
God does not reward the faithful with SUVs, He does not punish the wicked with slum apartments, He does not care who wins a football game, and He doesn’t kill the mommies of little boys so that bored men in checkout lines can feel a little special Christmas glow.
Here is Patton Oswalt’s much funnier take on the same song:
I hope all who celebrate are having a wonderful time with their loved ones.