Christmas Special: The Worst Christmas Song Ever
Considering that I started humming Frank Sinatra's version of Jingle Bells back in, oh, August or so, I'm always pretty excited when that time of year finally rolls aorund and a few of the local radio stations switch over to playing Christmas music. I make a mixtape of the stuff every year, and while I've discussed certain issues I have with "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"--a situation that Scott felt he should intervene on before I maligned his favorite Christmas carol any more than I already have--I love the stuff.
Except one song.
I think everyone has one they can't stand. My own father--whose love of Christmas despite his lifelong atheism is what flows through my veins--absolutely hated "Feliz Navidad" for some reason. Me, I'm just glad he didn't live long enough to hear Christmas Shoes.
This song, my friends, is the pits. I won't go through the trouble of re-posting the lyrics, but here's the basic rundown: While participating in the glorious bacchanalia of consumerism that is the Christmas shopping season, the narrator of our little story runs across a filthy urchin in line ahead of him who is attempting to purchase... A pair of shoes.
See, he wants to buy them for his mother, because she's terminally ill and he "wants her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight."
But what's this? The dirt covered youngster doesn't have enough money to buy these shoes for his dying mother! OH GNOES! IS CHRISTMAS DOOMED FOR EVERS?!
Of course not. Our narrator pays for the shoes goes on about his merry way while feeling like a saint and talking about catching "a glimpse of heaven's love," sending the lad--described as "dirty from head to toe"--back to his hovel.
The first time I heard it, I was riding in the car with my own mother, listening to a call-in show that had the most heartstring-tugging and weepiest Holiday stories thrown in between songs, and I was floored by the amount of syrup-sweet and unabashed at emotional manipulation in the song.
But then the children's choir kicked in.
It's entirely possible that I'm just too cynical to enjoy its heartwarming banality, but the last time I checked, a pair of fresh kicks didn't cure most terminal diseases. We can only assume, then, that while the narrator rakes in the cash from penning a song about the experience, the kid's mom quickly succumbs to the icy grip of Death itself, thus ruining Christmas forever.
Needless to say, that doesn't actually happen in the song. Or in the novel based on the song, or in the TV movie starring Rob Lowe based on the novel.
See, that's what's so amazing to me about the whole thing. It's not that the song won't just go way and die alongside the delightfully Christmasy tune where the two people split a six-pack in the parking lot of a department store. The mind-shatteringly terrible "Humps" is a breakout success, so clearly you people will listen to anything. It's that someone other than the guy who wrote the fourteen-part Mr. Roboto fan-fiction I once saw wrote an entire novel based on a three-minute musical crapfest.
And then somebody else filmed it.
All in all, it makes the suicide pact in "Winter Wonderland" seem downright cheery.
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