Some people might disagree but I believe that many will believe that one of the saddest Christmas songs ever is “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong. It might be strange to want to bring up such a depressing song when the holidays are all about family and be happy but I think the message of the song is exactly what makes the holidays so important. To sum it up, the song covers a little boy who really wants to buy a gift for his dying mother because he wants her to be beautiful when she finally passes on and meets her maker.
It turns out that the shoes that he really wants to buy for his mother are too expensive and a man standing in line behind him finally decides to buy the shoes for the boy. For once it is a song that is about more than jingling bells and snowmen, this was the first song that I had listened to that I had a personal connection to and the message really hit home because of what was going on in my life at the time. For that same depressing theme throughout the song though, many people feel that it is actually one of the worst Christmas songs ever but everything is a matter of perspective.
The song was first released in 2000 and I recorded it from the radio onto a cassette the second time I heard it. My father couldn’t stand the song and would always ask me to turn it off when he heard it. Part of this was at this time my mother had Multiple Sclerosis and actually passed away the fall of 2001. So as you can imagine, it was bittersweet anytime this song comes on around Christmas time.
The sickness of my mother that year, and the loss of her for the years after means that I tear up every time I hear this song because I feel like I can relate to exactly what that little boy is feeling when he is trying to find the perfect gift for his mom. He is also at peace with the fact that his mom will be leaving him and I felt the same way when I watched my mother get sick and slowly waste away before our eyes. There are simply some things you must accept and this kid just wants to make sure that she is at her best moment when she finally leaves.
What do you think about the song? Is it too depressing of a song to make for a good Christmas song or is the message loud enough to make you still want to listen to it year after year?