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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Shoes’

Late December is not only the time for grading and holidays, it is also the time to repost things that were written long ago as an alternative to writing something new when busy with grading and holidays. (Alternatively, one might also post old things by others!) In keeping with this tradition and the approach of Christmas, here are some Christmas-themed posts from the past:

2015: Life after murder for Kevin Mcallister

2015: ELF ON THE SHELF!

2015: Preferred pronouns on the shelf

2014: Christmas as social control

2013: Christmas at Fox News

2012: Kevin McCallister, murderer?

2012: Toys for rich and poor

2012: Toys for boys and girls

2012: Thoughts on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

2011: Holiday advertising gone wrong (a.k.a. the Folgers commercial)

2010: The world’s most offensive Christmas song

2009: Christmas spells relief

“Like” Memoirs of a SLACer on Facebook for links to holiday-themed posts a few times a year and non-holiday-themed posts the rest of the year.

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Today is December 15, which means that there are 10 more days to gear up for Christmas or, alternatively, ten more days until you will stop hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” everywhere you go. In either case, here are some snarky Christmas-themed posts to pass the time:

2014: Christmas as social control

2013: Christmas at Fox News

2012: Kevin McCallister, murderer?

2012: Toys for rich and poor

2012: Toys for boys and girls

2012: Thoughts on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

2011: Holiday advertising gone wrong (a.k.a. the Folgers commercial)

2010: The world’s most offensive Christmas song

2009: Christmas spells relief

Christmas Bonus: A subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club? No, its the Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog for 2012, 2013, and 2014

“Like” Memoirs of a SLACer on Facebook and I promise I will stop playing “Jingle Bell Rock” (and doing the dance from Mean Girls).

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Another year, another holiday season, and another chance for me to reiterate that “The Christmas Shoes” is the world’s most offensive Christmas song.

To cleanse your eardrums, please enjoy the perfect mix of holiday emotions (equal parts happiness and sadness, hope and despair) that are captured in “Christmas Time is Here.”

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The passing of Thanksgiving means that it is officially Christmas music season.  As noted a year ago, my anticipation for Christmas and the corresponding winter break is directly proportional to how busy I am.  Given my experiences with committee work and advising this semester, I may be looking forward to Christmas as much as I ever have.  One thing that I am not looking forward to, however, is the return of the world’s most offensive Christmas song: The Christmas Shoes.  (If you absolutely must, you can listen to the song here.)

Since you’re wondering how a song about shoes and Christmas can be offensive, allow me to provide some examples from the song’s lyrics.  Let’s start at the beginning:

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
Tryin’ to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing ’round like little boys do
And in his hands he held a pair of shoes

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe

I can understand the motivation to write a song about a poor kid at Christmas time.  Hell, the little drummer boy was poor.  Poverty, however, does not equal poor hygiene.  Imagine if the little drummer boy said, “I am a poor boy, too, ba rum pum pum pum/and so I smell like poo, ba rum pum pum pum.”

And when it came his time to pay
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say

Chorus:
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Okay, the poor kid’s mom is on her deathbed (though I thought Jesus was more of a sandals kind of guy).  Actually, her medical bills may explain why the kid is poor.  And, of course, with no mother to bathe him, no wonder the kid is dirty from head to toe (though he does have a dad out there somewhere)…

He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Then the cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here”
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me
He said Mama made Christmas good at our house
Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
Somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes

At this point, you would have to be a huge asshole not to help this kid.  I’m guessing that anybody within earshot would have pitched in.  Of course, those people didn’t, but the songwriter did.

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out

Wow, this guy is such a hero.  At this point I can’t get the image out of my head of this guy smiling in a self-satisfied way as he helps this dirty poor kid buy some (likely cheap) shoes at Christmas time.

I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said
Mama’s gonna look so great

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Another Chorus, nothing new here.  Have you ever noticed that most non-rap songs don’t actually have that many words once you get past the endless repeats of the chorus?  Anyway, the worst part of the song is coming up:

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

This is the part that infuriates me.  A dirty poor kid’s mom is dying and has been sick for months if not years.  All of that is okay, though, because as a result of all of the pain and suffering this kid has experienced in his life, and will continue to experience after his mom dies and the medical bills continue to pile up, some self-satisfied songwriter gets to remember what Christmas is all about.  There you have it, folks.  All of the poverty and suffering in the world is a gift from God himself so that those of us who are more fortunate can remember from time to time how good we have it.  That idea is what makes this the world’s most offensive Christmas song.

*Thanks to this website for a transcription of the lyrics so that I didn’t actually have to listen to the song in order to write this.

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