You know, the time when radio stations everywhere start playing holiday music. Including the most horrifying Yuletide song ever recorded.
No, not Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey.
I'm talking about "The Christmas Shoes."
I can just picture the jaded songwriters, holed up in a smoky conference room, wracking their brains to compose the most calculatingly-hearttugging, staggeringly vile song ever imagined. (It is so vile that they even made a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie about it.)
"Yeah, well, it's gotta be Christmas time," one songwriter murmurs.
"If it's Christmas, there's got to be a kid," the second songwriter says.
"Shit, dude, if it's Christmas, the kid's gotta be poor," the next guy over adds.
"And of course, if he's poor, he's gotta be looking at something through a store window that he can't afford," the first guy finishes.
"No, no, that's no good," says the token woman songwriter, trying her darndest to out cynicize the cynics while stubbing out her Salem Menthol in an empty pizza box. "He can't be looking for himself. He's looking to buy a present for..."
"HIS MOTHER!" they all chime in.
"What if his mother is, like, dying of cancer?" the new guy wonders, "and she, like, doesn't have, oh, I don't know, shoes?"
He's met with a chorus of boos. "Yeah, right," the first guy says, "that's too sappy and pathetic even for those chicks who watch The Bachelor."
Oh, no, it's not.
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
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn't believe what I heard him say
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.