The Christmas Shoes

(318 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)
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Bumper art by Andrew Dickman

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Comments (259)
  • NinjaJim
    Great Video, But I have a feeling You may get a lot of Hate mail. Oh well Haters Gonna Hate! :P
  • chronosXD
    Is that rob lowe? Ever since having sex with that minor his movie roles went downhill... Can't believe he managed to get a role as good as parks and recreation. Its ironic that you also have him as the "hollow thoughtless moral"
  • Taufiq91
    Surprisingly Rob Lowe rebounded and started appearing in the West Wing and awesome indie films like Thank You For Smoking.
  • Moeez
    And now he's the best part of TV now, in PARKS AND REC!
  • ladydiskette
    6:46-Oh god, that poor kid, I can just imagine how awkward this would have been having some woman crying and blubbering about shoes. He is probably thinking: "Wow, she is bipolar just like mommy is!" XD

    I felt it was about time you did a review on those god-aweful Hallmark/CBS made-for-tv holiday movies Lindsey. They try way too hard to appeal to the sacchrine emotional side of us women to the point that its predictable and formulatic makes my stomach churn. So I thank you for doing that Lindsey.

    May I suggest for your next reviews a look at those old Lifetime movies?
  • TheTannedOtaku
    I've never heard this song either...
    I'm glad I never did

    Maybe the producers of the movie figured, "if we pretend there's a moral, the audience will find themselves" or some shit like that...

    Aren't you gonna say thank you Todd?
  • tcfoo
    I believe the song would be better with out the forced lesson about the "meaning" of Christmas. With out the forced moral the song could be interpreted as A busy man helping out a kid, who wants to do something special for his mom on what may be her last Christmas, through a random act of kindness.

    The movie on the other hand appears to be engineered to pander of the older conservative religious demographic to boost CBS's viewership.
  • Kagato  - So let me get this straight...
    People hate this song because it's based on someone trying to remember the true meaning of christmas by helping a kid do something special for his dying mother?

    Am I missing something here? Or is everyone just a lot more cynical and cold than I am?
  • Dust
    Sounds like it forces it's message way too hard and became an over-the-top self mockery.
  • VulpesMundi  - Materialistic Merchandising X-Mess
    I think it comes down to this: they're sending the wrong message about the meaning of Christmas. It's not about material things (in this case shoes), nor is it about the generosity of giving material things (nice as that is). It's about being with those you love and sharing the moments that are special, and even the moments that aren't so special. Instead of pointing out that this child, who is about to lose his mother, should be spending as much time as possible with her in her dying moments, he's off trying to find a material possession for her that, while she may have a history with, has absolutely no importance because she's not going to be alive to appreciate it. She would appreciate his presence at her side far more than anything else (or at least I would hope so, considering they're never going to see each other again).

    tl;dr the song is about materialism, not the true meaning of Christmas like it seems to think.

    The movie takes the flawed premise of a three minute song and tries to shoehorn it into an hour and a half movie (the same concept the live-action Dr. Seuss movies used, basically). What we get is a convoluted mess of mixed and rather completely missed messages. A movie that thinks it's deep, smart, and full of true holiday spirit, but is in fact just a self-deluded piece of crap with a merchandising scheme tossed in for good cheer.

    Somebody turn on a Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • ladydiskette


    You whiney whimpy little bastard! He just gives up right there!!?!?! If the mother had these shoes when she was younger, chances are, the dad would have known about how happy they made her and would have understand, hell, he may have even brought them for her the first time around so its possible he knew how much the shoes made her happy because their could have been some sentimental romantic memory attached to them! Its not making the dad look any worse, its making the kid look freaking stupid!

    I mean, okay, he still would have told them they couldn't afford it because of the medical bills, but still, it would have saved you freezing your ass off looking for rusty cans that were probably used for meth labs and have needles in them!

    okay.....character rant over .______.
  • DangerousLoki
    That's precisely the flaw. Your interpretation of a The Christmas Shoes, it's just that. Like anything else in the world, it is something that is open to the interpretation of the listener. People read it as materialistic because it's about shoes. Which it is. But it isn't just materialistic. There's degrees to it and depending on what you decide to focus on. That's like saying that "Sara Beth" or "Skin" as it's called is all about some guy shaving his head to get laid. I joke about the song being about Nazis even though it's a sweet song.

    The point being that you can read this is as saying "Oh give people stuff" or you can read it as "I want to do something special for someone I care about." Hell, it's no different then the story of the Gift of the Magi, largely considered a masterpiece with the exact same masterialistic message at the end of the day.

    I personally like the song, the movie is stupid. The song is nice, the melody is enjoyable, and it's easy to sing to. It's not a masterpiece, but it's certainly not the worst song, nor worst christmas song in existence.
  • VulpesMundi  - *Shifty Eyes*
    The difference is the Gift of the Magi is there to teach us a lesson (it's the thought that matters, not the gift itself). The Christmas Shoes is there to be saccharine sweet thinking it's teaching us a message (it would have been more meaningful if the kid learned that the shoes weren't what mattered, regardless of whether or not he got them).

    I will admit the song itself really isn't all that bad. Its heart is in the right place, even if the message is a bit convoluted. There are definitely far worse songs. People will probably want to tar and feather me for saying this, but Paul McCartney's "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" is far worse. I'm not too fond of Boney M's "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord," either. *Shifty eyes.*
  • DangerousLoki
    I concur, it fails in the message, but it is trying to deliver. But the message is there, it's just not executed properly. The lyrics try to imply that the idea isn't the shoes so much as the gesture of "giving" the shoes. His mother had gone every christmas without what she wanted, and he was trying to give her the joy she gave him knowing this Christmas might be his last with her. But they don't do a good job of it. But it is a song, you can't always convey everything in three quick verses. The last verse is a little shallow. The idea isn't necessarilly the shoes as the gift.

    That's what I mean. lyrical choices aside, he wants to give her something. It's no coincidence that "I want her to look beautiful if Momma meets Jesus tonight" directly follows the line "These shoes will really make her smile." It has it's flaws, but it's mostly a decent idea that isn't executed well. Christmas Carol falls in the same vein. It's a sweet song.. but it has it's flaws as well
  • Lossthief
    that's...really not where the problem comes in.

    The problem is where it says "And I knew God had sent that little boy, to remind me what christmas is all about."

    That line implies either a) the creators of the song truly think it's a touching sentiment to think God gave this young boy's mother a terminal illness with the express purpose of teaching a guy to be less cranky around the holidays, or b) The speaker in the song is such an enormous douchebag that he BELIEVES a just and loving God would do that. Either way, it's a pretty disgusting message.
  • MetalMike007
    No, it's the idea that people are killed off by God and their loved ones sent to those who don't "get the true meaning of Christmas" so that they will finally "learn." So basically God kills people just to make minor points to other people.

    That and it's saccharine, contrived, and appeals to Middle-American Christian housewives.
  • Dwane
    Have you read the Bible? Old Testament God does that all the time. Heck, sometimes he does it just to see if his followers will still like him if he treats them horribly.
  • QuestionTheMajority
    The reason why we hate it is that it tugs at our heart strings and makes us want to see a happy ending and it ultimately turns out that the boy's mother died before he even brought the shoes to her. The whole song is basically a cruel joke whose punchline is "AND SHE DIED!" I suppose if you like the idea of the Joker writing Christmas carols, then you'll love it; but if you have any kind of a soul, you'll just find yourself going "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE GUY WHO WROTE THIS SICK STORY?"
  • DangerousLoki
    I do. Joker writing Christmas Carols, make it happen
  • Tetsu Deinonychus
    The Joker would write a much better sick, disturbing Christmas carol than this.

    Something about Santa breaking his neck on the way down the chimney, perhaps.
  • Spottedfeather
    I'm guessing you didn't see the three movies based on the song ? In the first movie, he gives the mom the shoes.
  • TheBitchingBookWorm
    The argument is that the topic that you just summarized isn't handled well at all. Lindsay, and the other professional critics that she mentioned, is arguing that it comes off forced and contrived and the story tellers in the song and movie don't really know what they're talking about
  • CrunchyRay
    People hate this song mainly because the message purports to be, "Christmas isn't about material things, it's about caring for people," but teaches that message by having a guy buy things for a kid to give to his mom. Basically because the lesson is entirely self-defeating.

    That and the fact that hearing it is likely to give you diabetes.
  • Lady-Moth
    Well, for starters it's just one of those tired and cliche "THIS HAS A BIG MORAL" songs/stories, and for second...well, the implication in the song is that God kills a kid's mom just so some random guy will learn the true meaning of Christmas. It's kinda disturbing, really.
  • Makiki  - Here's the correct straightness
    People hate this song because it's an enormous void marketed as meaningful. It has all the hallmarks (hah!!) of a touching Christmas story -- the earnest kid who still believes, the jaded adult who's forgotten, the martyred mom, the gift which should show how it's the act of giving and caring for our loved ones that gives life meaning.

    But it's a sequence of events that doesn't have a real point. It's like one of those prop presents under a department store's tree, just a garishly-wrapped box of VOID.

    People who hate this song do so for two reasons: 1) The sickeningly sweet "wrapping" of the song's presentation, which could be forgiven if not for its 2) Utter meaninglessness.

    Maybe there are people who listen to lyrics and ponder their meaning and try to take something away from the songs they hear, and people who like this abomination.
  • jokullernir
    People have a problem with this song because it feels like their just shoving the message down your throat. When I hear this song I think about those crazy christians on the streets of hollywood screaming the message to us. It's like they took a hallmark tv special, threw in the word Jesus and Voila! They wrote a song
  • Narlepoax III
    To be honest, I like this song... But I see where you're coming from.
  • TheAngryAnimeAddict
    Great review. Always hated that movie. I'll stick with some of my other ham and cheese Christmas movies, thankyou very much! XD
  • BGWG  - Ahh this song/story
    My ex-girlfirend broke up with me soon after watching her church preform the story version of this song for their holiday say this isn't one of my more well liked Christmas tales so would be accurate
  • FireFighter214  - Not mentioned again?
    Does this mean the death of the grandmother is a big lipped alligator moment?
  • BGWG  - wait....
    hmmm....Actually YES
  • Rainbow Dash
    I suppose it is a big lipped alligator moment.
  • TheBitchingBookWorm
    Not really. I think it was supposed to have a purpose, but I don't know, I've never seen the movie (thank god). Also, there was no random singing and dancing (which would have made it really awesome xD)
  • ChicagosMindfreak  - To quote Patton Oswalt again....
    God: Somebody in a bad mood on my son's birthday!?!? BULLSHIT!!! Give that kid's mom cancer, make sure the kid's standing in front of him in line, make him seven cents short, this guy will buy them for him, and then he'll be in a good mood!!

    Jesus: I don't think we need to give the kid's mom can-

    God: YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! This is gonna be the best birthday you ever had!!!
  • Damballa
    Lmao, gotta love good ol' Patton
  • Pitgoddess
    Todd's gleeful running had me laughing way too loud for this early in the morning.
  • thrakkemarn  - wow
    I am so glad I have never been subjected to this song. I also do not "get it" ... that is what the appeal of these songs and movies are. Or what their message is supposed to be. Good review!
  • Salculd


  • SayaCeline
    Hearing Lindsay's plea for a belt for Todd has shown me the true meaning of an average December weekend and has encouraged me to spend it by shopping for presents!
  • SuperKamiGuru
    Wow Todd, you need to slow down there for a second. We almost saw your face right there =P
  • Cinnamon Scudworth
    Staring at the title card, debating whether or not to play this and risk getting the song stuck in my head....I can't be the only one facing this dilemma right now.

    To people who like it and don't understand the hate, I can put it this's this horrible piece of fiction where the writer thought if he made the story as sappy and heavy-handed as possible, it would be brilliant. It's not. IT'S TOO MUCH SAP. IT IS TOO MUCH. It's an awful, hacky, manipulative story! The elevator muzak it's set to isn't good either! And on top of that, what kid is so dumb that they think God won't let them into heaven if their dead bodies aren't wearing nice shoes back on Earth? Just...what?
  • ImaShaman
    My mother loves that song and plays it every christmas and starts crying when it goes into the part about the mom dying.
  • Fuzzy Necromancer
    Certain animals eat their mothers alive when they reach maturity. You should follow their example.
  • JaniceGhostHunter
    Is that a water bear?!? LoL, I know I should be commenting about this song and her review, but your icon just blows me away its so awesome!!!
    Anyhoo, they played this song a few years back and it kind of became an accepted addition to the holiday for the holiday radio station in my hometown. I wish it would have because after listening to "Jingle Bell Rock" you dont want something like that to screw your buzz up as this song will enevitably. I'm not really sure why this song gets so many people pissed off though. Sure, the end verse is confused as fuck, but I get a different meaning that I'll explain at the end. I would'nt really EVER put it in a list as a must hear for Christmas and its not at all a great song, but its not the worst, theres Rebecca Black for that title. What does piss me off are the movies. They are terrible and I would rather listen to "Friday" for six hours while having my hedgehog eat my toes. If you want something to depress the hell out of you for Christmas and will leave a much bigger impact, go watch a short by Disney "The Little Matchstick Girl". The Nostagial Critis did a peice on it and its all 100% true what he says. Its a beautiful peice, but reserve that for when you want to cry your eyes out. The point the "Christmas Shoes" is trying to get across (at least to me) is to remember the poor and less fortunate on Christmas and to care for those more in the future than in the past. I at least always try to. The meaning I get out of the song's weird ass last verses (I would've never wrote it that way because it comes off as really screwed up) is just that. Care for those in need and also not to forget what blessings we have. For us people watching this video for 17 minutes where ever out are we're lucky as hell. Chances are you're eating something, have a glass of whatever the hell you're drinking and enjoying yourself in a nice warm comfortable room. Millions of others in this world would give anything they possibly could have to have this same luxury. I dunno. Thats what I get. Maybe I'm just sleepy. I'm not sure if I've made an ass of myself, but I tell it the way I took it so there you go. Go watch "The Little Matchstick Girl" by Disney and tell me if you get that same message.
    LoL, sorry for ranting for so long with many misspellings in this reply, I'm still amazed by your tardigrade icon :)
  • Dwane
    Hey, there's nothing wrong with liking tardigrades.

    I think people hate this song for a number of reasons:

    1) It's sad pretty much for the sake of being sad, and a lot of people don't like having their emotions jerked around like that (some people like it for that same reason). There are other songs about not taking life for granted that are much better and make you feel better for having heard them, not worse.

    2) The "Jesus" part comes off as preachy to some people. Given that Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of Christ's birth, and most traditional Christmas carols are about Jesus, you'd think it wouldn't be so bothersome, but it doesn't really celebrate Jesus so much as use him for a tear jerking tool.

    3) Lots of people see a materialistic component in it that conflicts with any wholesome message it's trying to convey.

    4) It's not particularly beautiful. Hum the melody without the words, and you'll see what I mean. The song is just a poor vehicle for a weak story.

    5) While the message it's trying to convey may be good, the execution is poor.

    6) Some people hate it simply because it's popular, or perhaps just seriously overplayed.
  • TheFourLights
    Never heard of it, but indeed what hack.

    Yeah, little children with dying moms is always a blast on chrismas.

    If you want to do it right with lonely children on christmas eve: wiki/ The_Little_Match_Girl

    That fairytale is better written than the one with that god as deus ex machina.
  • Drake666
    That story is fucked up man... I mean, we know, we understand and we REALLY DON'T WANT people suffering (during the holiday and any other times)... but this story says:
    "See ?! SEE?! YOU KILLED HER!!! It's because of your indifference that she's dead! Perhaps she's in heaven... perhaps that was hypothermia... who cares ? SHE'S DEAD!"

    That's harsh...
  • mehja
    I missed the part in the Bible where Jesus emphasized the importance of pretty footwear in order to enter Heaven.
    Could some send me the quote?
  • keniakittykat
    I have no clue, but Jesus himself wore worn-out sandals, so I guess even plastic flipflops from the dollar store will get you in just fine?
  • Galactus
    I just noticed how much of an intellectual Nchick is.
  • axlryder
    I believe faux-intellectual would be the appropriate term.

    Also, this review is a clear overreaction to what amounts to harmless mainstream sap (of which there is COPIOUS amounts) that happens to contain religious themes. I say this because this is a pretty uncharacteristic thing to be reviewed on this site (except for maybe by Hagane *shivers*) and particularly by Lindsay, as well as the fact this song/movie combo, despite being a bit silly, would never have gotten a review if the writers somehow hadn't worked Jesus into it (the little disclaimer in the beginning fools me not). Aside from the fact that Lindsay is totally misinterpreting portions of the song just to make it seem worse, she's honestly reviewing really boring shit, which is probably the worst thing to review, and getting unjustifiably angry at a lot of it as filler to pad this thing out. Honestly, everything said here did little to convince me of just how awful this song or this movie is. Even the rather biased sampling of reviews being awkwardly worked in just seemed like an oddly desperate and serious way for you to try and make us hate this thing. The song was mediocre. The movie was mediocre. Overall, I could point out and nitpick exactly HOW bad this review is/ provide an alternative view to the song to make it seem...slightly less inane. but instead I'll just say this video amounts to a whiney vlog in unfunny review form and leave it at that. After all, a long winded comment on my part will do little to deter the minority religious people from being offended and the majority atheists/christian haters on this site from being undeservedly entertained by this (seriously, I was cringing more at Lindsay than I was at the movie/song).

    I will admit though, I loled when I saw the Rob Lowe in this.
  • Mizu Takishima
    I actually kind of agree with you, but its a pretty bad movie anyway and she could have said a lot worse things = w = I mean its not like she was saying anything bad about Christianity or Jesus, its just the materialistic nature of the film. (Shoes and dying mothers isn't what Christmas is all about!)

    I think she handled the film in a tasteful matter, and while Christians (myself included) may be a minority on this site, we're DEFINITELY not the minority in the real world.

    Also heck yes for Johnny Cash! I miss that man ; n ;
  • QuestionTheMajority
    Wait... We're not the minority in the world? This is news to me.
  • axlryder
    I wouldn't take solace in numbers, as the majority of Christians aren't exactly the brightest bulbs. Also, Christians are the minority in the real world, just not in America, which is what I'm assuming you meant. Just wait, oh 20-30 years, and I doubt you'll be able to say even that.
  • AaronJer  - Whaaat?
    Christians are not the minority in the real world. Where did you get that idea? Do you just make stuff up? Christianity is BY FAR the most popular religion in the world, by like 500 million people.
  • axlryder
    I was referring to minority in terms of global population. 2 billion (though that figure has most certainly dropped significantly since 2000) vs 6.5 billion is clearly a minority. Whereas in America, the actual majority of the population is still Christian. You're right though, Christianity IS the most popular religion in the world. I should have specified what I meant in my comment for clarity. I like your cheesy, over-the-top reaction though. Funny.
  • Kevin Holsinger  - @Galactus...that's why I'm so fond of her.
    It's not that the other reviewers here aren't smart. It's just that N. Chick seems to emphasize her intelligence more than the others... my opinion.
  • rockybalboa211
    So.. Todd didn't even have one dollar to purchase a lottery ticket?

    I thought this song was okay when it came out, but then I started paying attention to the lyrics. The best gift you could have given your mother at that moment was your love, not shoes! Also, the point of that experience is totally lost on the singer/buyer of the shoes. He could have at least saw kindness and beauty in life or that we should spend time with love ones since life is only temporary, but all he got from situation was to get the true meaning of christmas. The true meaning of Christmas isn't that hard to understand. This specific situation should have affected him much more than that.
  • Rupert3434
    How did this get such a low vote? 5/5 Here.
    It's refreshing to see the obvious commercialism of this song/film unmasked, especially when it's coated with that gooey, sappy, yet oh-so-digestible rhetoric about "the true meaning of Christmas". Bravo! :)
  • Dust
    "How to make Gravy" it's not, but I guess it works, for forced schmaltz.
  • TechnoStripe
    Ever since you mentioned the movie in the 'Christmas Songs' list, I was hoping you'd tackle the movie. ^_^
  • SeparateWay
    Todd running in slow-motion is one of the most inspirational things I've seen
  • SillyBlondie
    Got the Facebook message basedon this song (except the kid wants to buy a doll for his dead sister, that his dying mom could bring to her when she went to meet Jesus too... )

    With the cute little morale at the end: "if you care, you'll share this message, if you don't, you're an horrible person and you should die".

    Guess I'm really really horrible.
  • Phire Light  - Um...Er...Dartmouth Represent? >_>
    And they say "Buy American" in this movie. Well guess what, you know that scene where the shoes fall off the truck? That's my home Dartmouth...Nova Scotia...CANADA!!!
  • sprezzatura
    Hahaha, that's brilliant... I'll bet those shoes were made in Taiwan too...
  • Comidia Del Arte
    Heard a similar story about this, only it was a rose, not a shoes... And it was a brother and sister who were at first buying bread.......damn my old pastor made the story sooooo much better!
  • ArtticWitchica
    The shot of Todd running away and his hood falling down and the back of the head scarf for his mask following in the wind was beautiful and hilarious to me XD

    Though I kept wondering what the liquor store thought of a guy in a mask outside it.
  • acolonelofcorn
    I've never heard that song in my life. I don't listen to crap.

    At least it isn't techno.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    You watch your mouth, boy! Somewhere out there, some enterprising DJ with nothing better to do has done a Techno remix of it. I'm not going to go looking for it, mind you, but it's out there somewhere.
  • Drake666
    And now, I want to hear it... just for the suffering...

    Wow, that's the true meaning of Christmas !
  • Goobian
    Spoke. Too. Soon. watch?v=z4s4wLdaov8
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