THE IDLE AMERICAN:  In search of yesterdays

Published 3:13 pm Monday, November 26, 2018


Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury


If there should be an appeal for volunteers to search for innocence lost, misplaced or forfeited in recent decades, sign me up. The downward spiral has been gradual, unlike Dorothy’s sudden realization–upon her arrival at Oz’s Emerald City–that she and her friends weren’t in Kansas anymore.

Mired in a culture where too much information bombards daily, we’re “running out of respites,” even during holidays. Such observances formerly provided temporary “fixes.” Even the millions who place their world on pause to soak up a tub of “feel-good”–perhaps while again viewing It’s A Wonderful Life– may have a hard time putting aside ever-growing fears. They’re stacking up faster than the wood piled high for fire-stoking when snow makes the world white.

Now, we are warned that even Christmas cards may be hazardous to our health. Does anything remain sacred?

Yes, Facebook–as well as other social media tag-alongs–warns that “glitter greetings” heralding the birth of Jesus Christ may be fraught with danger. We are thus warned that cards with glitter affixed may do us in. What if children figure this is a “scratch and sniff” deal?

Trouble is, we are told, that such glitter often becomes “unfixed.” They’re lining up “second-hand glitter” with “second-hand smoke.” It’s tempting to go back to bed and pull up the covers, wishing the world to go away.

If additional potential dangers are to be listed, we may have to buy another Big Chief tablet. Who would have dreamed that Christmas glitter–long thought to be joyous and festive–would warrant such a rap?

Historically, “glittery cards” have been extra-special. They’ve warranted the extra cost; we have “chug-a-lugged” Hallmark’s Kool-Aid that urges us to send “the very best.”

Folks who take on social media “stuff” in deep breaths may have smothering spells. One “wiseacre” (or perhaps “wise-half-acre”) reports that the State of California has announced that glitter causes cancer.

Another says, “Every glitter bit hurts.” One warns that persons sending him (her?) glittery cards should not expect “warm fuzzy” cards in return. Instead, “glitter-senders” will “get back cards containing a year’s worth of toenail clippings.” That’s worse than coal-stuffed stockings!

Some folks look for reasons to shorten lists of Christmas card recipients. Look for a substantial number to remove “glitter bombers” from their lists.

All of us have friends who look for new reasons to shudder. After all, what if worriers about flying glitter are right?

Someone offered an alternative for people who want “something extra” in outgoing cards. It is recommended to use “confetti glitter” to keep us from harm’s way.  It supposedly has heavier texture, and is “easily vacuumed up…and doesn’t show on your face…or your carpet, tables, pets, clothes, Xrays, dishes, hair or teeth.”

Sure enough, scientists suggest avoidance of the stuff, as do many others. Maybe you’d like to “Google it” to see for yourself.

Me? I think I’ll stick to my usual “fence-straddling” stance on the matter.

I dunno.

I’m more interested in my Uncle Mort’s “rib-tickler” about a “thicket friend” who claims to have a system to mail greeting cards at no cost.” No stamps required,” he jokes.

My 106-year-old uncle said his friend addresses all Christmas cards to himself. Then, in the upper left-hand corner where he usually shows his return address, he instead lists names and addresses of the people to whom he’s sending greetings. “Voila,” my uncle said. “Post Office personnel, noticing the unstamped envelopes, return them to ‘senders’.”

Hmmm. Seems unlikely, unlawful and un-Christian.

How ‘bout this? Why not consider handwritten notes of good wishes on any kind of paper? Share Biblical truths.

Let Christians all rejoice, proclaiming Isaiah 9:6.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor. No embellishment is needed.


Dr. Newbury is a former educator who “commits speeches” roundabout. Comments/inquiries to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: Twitter: @donnewbury. Facebook: don newbury.