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5 ways to survive Christmas Shoes

christmasshoes

If you’re not familiar with the song, “Christmas Shoes,” then enjoy this ornament we have on our tree, give a short thank you prayer to our Lord and Savior and skip this post all together. That’s a pretty charmed life you’re living friend. Savor it.

If, though, you have experienced the melodic tale of the boy who wants to buy shoes for his dying mother because he wants her to look nice when she meets Jesus, I have some good news for you.

Here are the 5 best ways to survive, “Christmas Shoes.”

1. If it comes on the radio while you are riding in a car, don’t forget to tuck your shoulder when you open the door to roll out into the street. If you can, try to time your roll when the car is going slowly and let your back take the brunt of the landing. If you’re driving, this is still valid advice. Your car might ghost ride for a little while, but you can always buy a new one. You can’t always unhear this song.

2. Don’t try to negotiate with it. Much like fear, the Christmas Shoes song cannot be beat with logic or rational thinking. Don’t waste time with questions like, “Where is this kid’s dad? Does he have a dad? Why shoes? Why not a Christmas dress? Why not a delicious bowl of queso? Why not a copy of Do Over (now in paperback!), maybe that kid could help two families at once, his and mine? Has an 8 year old ever successfully purchased a women’s shoe in the history of mankind?”

3. Forget trying to make it an “acquired taste.” This song isn’t like algebra, it doesn’t get better once you get used to it. Don’t think that listening to it on repeat will solve your problems. The only way this song could be worse is if they pandered to the troops too. “Sir, I want to buy these shoes, I just came back from Afghanistan. Bald eagles!”

4. Keep it out of any Christmas playlist. I know what you’re thinking, “Jon, I’ll just hide it in the middle of a 100-song playlist. No one at the party will notice.” They will and so will you when you notice people are leaving your party.

5. Stop being friends with people who say it’s not a bad song. They’re wrong. Those people have terrible judgment and probably prefer unfrosted pop tarts as well. Stop doing life with them.

We’ll get through this friend, I know we will, but it’s going to take a village.

What is your best tip to survive Christmas Shoes?

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Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff

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78 Comments

  1. CarolineWebb Reply

    nice post

  2. Doug Reply

    Hi Jon,
    Thanks for the laugh! Now if I could just get “Fa la la la la, la la la la” out of my head I’d have the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny Kaye!

  3. Dan from Georgia Reply

    I just don’t turn on the radio. Wife and I have sooo much music on CDs and our Ipod that the radio is an undesirable option. Besides, do I really want to risk hearing “Christmas Shoes” or “Santa Baby” or Wham!s “Last Christmas” or the umteenth rendition of “Winter Wonderland”?

  4. Amy Reply

    Should be followed immediately with Gayla Peevey’s “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas”

  5. Dan from Georgia Reply

    BTW, LOVE this post Jon. Hearkens back to the olden days of your Stuff Christians Like blog!

    Also, do any Christian radio stations even play “Christmas Shoes” anymore? I am starting to wonder if they have got the hint that the song is despised.

  6. #6 immediately switch to I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, because that is music gold after hearing Christmas Shoes.

  7. Annette Reply

    Ha ha! I thought I was the only one who detests that song! I thought I was some kind of cold, uncaring scrooge for not liking it.

  8. Remember: The kid’s a shyster. He’s telling the same canned story all over town (that’s why the chorus is the same), getting poor shlubs to buy shoes for him that he’s going to hock on the street corner or use to impress his South American mistress.

  9. Drive off a bridge. It will hide the stupid tears you SWEAR you’re not shedding and end your misery with melodrama matched only by the song itself.

  10. You made me do it! I went to You Tube and had to hear it. Trying to restrain myself, it was just too much, and the impulse to know what you were talking about took over. Yes,
    I was the fool that kept reading after you said the post was not for me. I’m now in the phase that I cannot unhear it!!! Ugghhh , why didn’t I listen??? Will Christmas ever be the same, or will I just have extra money in my pocket in case some poor kid needs to buy shoes for his mom to meet Jesus?
    Well, I’m heading to the ATM now!!!

  11. Brian Reply

    This is gold. Nicely done.

  12. Beth Reply

    I want to say “thank you for an awesome post” but your mere mention of that song has left it stuck in my head. This is not how I wanted to start my day. Only the trans-Siberian orchestra can save me now.

  13. You can’t even know the feelings I feel. Friends, my first introduction with, “The Christmas Shoes”, happened roughly seven years ago. My mother took me shopping at the local Christian bookstore’s “Black Friday” sale, and it was there I saw a delightful little DVD with a boy, his family, and shoes. I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s only $5.00 and I love shoes!” This was only the beginning to the hell I inflicted upon myself for the next hour and a half. I kept thinking throughout the movie, something happy has to happen, it just has to-I forgot that the happy part was suppose to be her going to meet Jesus…

    Friends, I hear the pain you’re in, I understand the distress…. but none of you have watched the full length feature film. No body knows the trouble I’ve seen!

    As a side note, I gave my $5.00 Black Friday movie purchase to my moms friend who I don’t particularly care for. She loved the movie, only confirming my suspicions about her.

  14. Two years ago, my supervisor at the company I worked for was an elderly retired pastor from India. He was a gentle soul, and for one of our small team devotions, he played the entire song. There were just 4 of us in the room, so there was no way under the sun that I could slip out to catch my breath. He may have noticed that my thoughts were clearly elsewhere, so at the end of the song, he said, “This is so good, we need to listen to it again…” I may be scarred for life! 🙂

  15. Shaphan Reply

    I simply had my tear ducts removed. Now I only have to avoid talking to people during and shortly after hearing Christmas Shoes as to not draw attention to the enormous lump in my throat.

  16. Son of the Singer Reply

    So true…but this really stings those of us who HAVE to like the song.

  17. MB Reply

    If subjected to the horror that is Christmas Shoes, I simply imagine that the ones in the song are a pair of big, honking, red, platform, hooker shoes, with the goldfish in the heel, a la 1970.

  18. Steven W. Murray Reply

    My mom passed away a little over three years ago. Gotta say — her shoes were the last thing in the world on my mind. The boy in the song needs a mature adult — or even a wiser child — to tell him to focus on what’s really important and simply SPEND TIME with your mom! Perhaps a wise older nurse who’s been around a few years and witnessed these moments should have stopped him at the door, pulled him aside and said, “Sweetie, let me tell you something … ” then guided him back to his mom’s bedside.

  19. Will Goodwin Reply

    Is there any irony in the fact you repost this same blog post every year…as in you secretly love the song but this is your way of staying in denial?

    Still funny. Just curious.

  20. I like to let the song think it has won. It comes on. I listen. I start to sing along. However, instead of the words, I just scream, ‘NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!” I feel like that action cancels the actual song out, restoring a form of balance to the Force.

  21. Wife of singer Reply

    This is also really, really bad for our family. We have to love it, adore it and request it on a daily basis. We’ve watched the movie twice since Thanksgiving and I think I’m losing my vision. The worst part is that I get shoes every Christmas now from the husband and kids and I have to fake cry as we listen to the song and I have to pretend that the song is about me. It’s a miserable experience. It’s like having the mole from your yard take out my eyeball with a spoon and I have to smile as this goes on with no medication. Like seeing your arm eaten by a shark and smiling as it swims away. “I’m gonna buy these shoes” from my husband makes me feel like Caesar saying “Et Tu Brute?”

  22. Tammy Reply

    I guess I’m the only person commenting who likes the song? Maybe because I liked the movie and when I hear the song I’m reminded of it. It’s a very heartwarming story ?

  23. Scared and Scarred Reply

    We almost got in a wreck the other day because the first note of the song came on and my daughter started shouting NoNoNoNoNo!!! from the back seat so my husband hit the brakes thinking we needed to avoid something!! Thankfully we avoided both the emotional and physical trauma caused by this song!

  24. LOL! I’m glad someone else finally admitted they hate this song. I kept thinking, “Am I a bad person for NOT liking this song about Jesus and Christmas??” 😉

    • Dan from Georgia Reply

      You are not a bad person for not liking that song. It just goes to show that you have discernment and good taste in music.

  25. Miriam Reply

    I run away or put my hands over my ears and go lalalala. I’ve learned to hit buttons on my car radio to avoid it when I listen to the radio in the car. I avoid Delilah and her sappy radio show at this time of year. If Christmas Shoes becomes an earworm I will become unhinged.

  26. For the longest time, I had not heard the song, but my kids had. When those opening chords would start, they would instantly scream and I would change the radio station. From that experience, I learned to recognize the chords and change the station. Kind of like Pavlov’s dogs, but with slightly less saliva.

  27. Another song in the same category is – ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’
    This is a time when Hate, is not a bad enough word.

    • Lauren Reply

      I can’t hear Rhinestone Cowboy without hearing Madonna”s “” like a virgin.” I think it’s the same key. Like a Rhinestone cowboy touched for the very first time. Maybe now I have changed the song for someone else.

  28. Kelly OReilly Reply

    I feel like this would be the same way I deal with the Kardashians on TV. I slowly, but firmly, shove flat head screwdrivers into my ears until the horror is over. Hey, my hearing sounds like blown Chevette speakers, but ANYTHING sounds better than any of that schlock. Just sayin’.

  29. Tierny Reply

    I find a nice dramatic “noooooooooo” in the Christmas idle to be a temporary distraction. Followed by a frantic dash out of the store.

  30. It’s cheaper to yank the radio out and toss it out the window. Even if you hit a policeman with the radio, get arrested, go to jail for five years for assaulting the poor officer with a radio still squawking “please, sir I want to buy these shoes” which is a particularly heinous crime that the judge will not go easy on, it is still cheaper than listening to the song one more time.
    It is believed that the clown issue we had recently was from a Christmas Shoes cult that brainwashed the clowns with this song until they broke.

  31. Jewel Reply

    As a fellow detester of “Christmas Shoes,” I found the article hysterical up until the “pandering to the troops” note. As the wife of an active duty officer who has lived through a year long deployment (that’s all of the holidays, if you’re counting), I can tell you that Christmas is hand’s down the toughest time of the year for deployed soldiers and their families. My family has been very, very lucky to only spend one Christmas apart. Many, many of our friends have spent three or more Christmases apart. It should only take a tiny bit of compassion and consideration to realize that deployed troops and their families back home are making a tremendous sacrifice in support of our country (that’s you). A shout out of appreciation from a grateful citizen may sound cheesy or gratuitous to you, but I can guarantee that a young wife, holding a crying baby and anticipating that baby’s first Christmas and a Skype phone call downrange if they are lucky, or a teenager missing her soldier mom will get tears in her eyes and gain a little bit of strength from knowing that someone cares enough to notice her loss. It won’t feel like pandering to her. It will feel like love and strength.

    But, a thousand times “yes” on all of the rest.

    • Amber Reply

      I think what he meant by “pandering to the troops” is when songwriters just put patriotic stuff into songs simply because they know it will sell…they don’t actually mean it as a heartfelt tribute, and there’s not any sincerity behind it.

  32. Justin Reply

    I think of Patton Oswald’s routine about it. It’s a great rundown of why it sucks

  33. Justin Reply

    I don’t survive it -I endure it for the sake of my friends in the band who wrote it and sing it. Should it be sung at their concerts until February – heck no! But it is the only real, original and now classic Christmas song to come out of Christian music in many years…so just grin it, bear it, or turn the dial…it’s still hanging around in the air just like smell of pies baking on Christmas morning

  34. Brenna Reply

    6. Puncture your eardrums, as preventative medicine. Worked for me!

  35. Jerry Moore Reply

    “Christmas Shoes” reminds me of the song “Roses For Mama” by C.W. McCall from 1977, a real tear-jerker for anyone with a heart. The big difference is that “Christmas Shoes” is a really BAD song and “Roses” is actually pretty good!

    And speaking of bad Christmas songs, is anyone here familiar with the song “His Favorite Christmas Story” by Capitol Lights? I HATE this song because it’s both sad AND stupid, yet has a very catchy tune and chorus. Please go listen to it and then join me in hating it. Go NOW!

  36. Kmom3 Reply

    It’s as much of a nightmare song as “Gramdma got run over by a reindeer”, but the feelings it brings are slightly different. “Shoes” is an anger over the manipulation of your feelings of a kid and his dying mom, “grandma” is an infernal rage over the IQ points lost each time you hear it.

  37. Jenn K. Reply

    Wow! I thought everyone but me loved that song. AND, I think my local Christmas playing station plays it at least every FIVE songs every year. Its like its on non-stop loop.

    It ranks just lower than the Footprints in the sand poem for me…

  38. Lori Hawkins Reply

    The Christmas Shoes SONG? We did The Christmas Shoes MUSICAL at our church. Two. Years. In. A. Row. Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus! (They’re nowhere to be found in that musical, by the way.) There is a rousing choir rendition of You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. Bless it. Never again!

  39. Diane Bales Reply

    So….I had never heard the song but came across the dvd starring Rob Lowe. What the heck?!?! The back of the movie case did NOT tell what this movie was about! My teenagers only watched this movie with me because I thought it looked like one of those sappy Halmark Christmas movies and made them. I told them “Sit! It’s mandatory family time.” Good grief. I will never live it down. After sobbing through the last half hour of the movie I promptly threw it in the trash.

    • Patti Lou Reply

      Not even the beauty of Rob Lowe can save this movie. And that’s saying A LOT. My only consolation to having to listen to the whole song is knowing my grown son is reduced to a puddle of tears when the kids choir starts singing. Serves him right. 😉

  40. Jason Reply

    I drown it out by singing Mary did you know?

  41. From my blog post on the topic:

    CATEGORY: WORST CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME

    Winner: The Christmas Shoes (NewSong; 2000)

    Undeniably the worst Christmas song ever. “Cloying and manipulative” are two of the kinder words used to describe it on many sites; I’d add maudlin and misbegotten, just to round out the alliterative ‘m’ sounds.

    How do I hate this song? Let me list the ways: the lead vocalist sort of groans out the lyrics as if he’s in pain; the music sounds like a poor quality karaoke track; the premise of the song is ridiculous–and worst of all, the rhyme scheme is askew and none of the words match up quite right. As Mike Myers said in View From The Top, they “put the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong syLLAble.”

    RUNNER-UP: there is no runner-up. No Christmas song is worse than this one. Here it is, along with scenes from the movie (yes, they made a movie) with Rob Lowe.

  42. Steve Reply

    What? No mentions of such bad songs as: “So this is Christmas (war is over)”, “Wonderful Christmastime”, “Last Christmas”, and “Mary did you know?” These songs, and others, simply suck the joy out of this holiday.

    • Dan from Georgia Reply

      My list of detestable Christmas songs also includes “Santa Baby” and just about any version of “Winter Wonderland.” Why “Winter Wonderland” you ask? Well, why does EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN musician think they have to put that song on their requisite Christmas album?

  43. Sarah Redding Reply

    No joke, my favorite post ever. I could not even read it aloud for my husband to hear without laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Thank you for making my day

  44. Kara Johnson Reply

    Ha ha! I’d love to see a companion article on the horrors of “Where’s the Line to See Jesus?”

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