Sunday, December 24, 2017

Lazy Sunday # 502: Out For Delivery

When I was a kid, everything Christmas was delivered to your door. We lived in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan, far from stores and those city sidewalks where silver bells rang on every corner and shoppers rushed home clutching their packages.

A couple of months before the big day, the Sears and Eaton's Christmas catalogues arrived and everybody took turns leafing through the super-colorful pages and circling what they wanted in the hope that Santa or somebody else in the family would take notice and order it for you.

My dad worked as a station agent for the CPR back then and as Christmas got closer the freight shed was stacked higher and higher with cardboard cartons containing somebody's Christmas. Make that everybody in town's Christmas.

Bulky grey canvas bags stamped "Royal Mail Canada" piled up there as well, along with whatever boxes rolled in on the Greyhound or Saskatchewan Transport bus.

But those packages contained more than just Christmas presents. There were frail wooden crates of Mandarin oranges direct from Japan, heavy as a brick fruit cakes and burlap wrapped wheels of cheese, not to mention metal barrels of beer and wooden boxes ringed with steel strapping that held wine and other spirits.

One Christmas, a St. Bernard puppy arrived on the baggage car and stayed with us for a few days until the road to his new farm home could be plowed after a blizzard.

But we weren't completely backwoods and pioneer-timey. We had television and saw all the big Christmas specials with Bob Hope or Perry Como as well as the Christmas parades from far flung metropolises.

There were Christmas movies too. Not a lot. But you could count on "It's a Wonderful Life" and Alistair Sim's Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" making at least one appearance.

We're back to Christmas arriving in packages nowadays. Some days, I've seen as many as six trucks parked on my street as drivers in brown or blue or whatever they slept in last night hustle parcels to doorsteps.

My own place was so busy one morning, the dog gave up the "Danger, Intruder!" bark-fest intended to strike fear into couriers and just pretended she didn't hear the doorbell.

We've got Christmas movies up the ying-yang too. Sometimes 4 or 5 a night. Most of them feature stars you've never heard of or thought were long dead basically beating you over the head with the sentiments of the season while doing their best to get you reaching for a Kleenex.

In the end, the overwrought repetitiveness tends to numb viewers (or me at least) to the true message of Christmas.

Much of that has been remedied by filmmaker Ethan Milner, who turned his gaze to the return of the delivered Christmas and crafted a terrific short film entitled "Out for Delivery".

Please take a half hour break from the holiday as its envisioned by Hallmark and Lifetime to watch a terrific little movie that shows what the day is really about.

Merry Christmas from The Legion.

And Enjoy Your Sunday...

Out For Delivery | Short Film from Shades Mountain Baptist Church on Vimeo.

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