I was about to criticize the nanny state again. Granted, there is space to fill, and local governments are not meeting; but it seemed useless to have to be outreached and educated into knowing that catalogs are paper and can therefore be recycled. Not only that, dress boxes and other cardboard boxes are paper products, and they may be recycled. Did you know wrapping paper is paper, and it, too, can be recycled? Can you feel the green energy?

But then, I got to the part that said eggnog cartons may be recycled. That is amazing, since other beverage cartons can be recycled, too. I’m not sure what generalizations may be drawn. But what is tricky is that if one pours eggnog into a paper cup, that cup is no longer recyclable.

Not to be outdone, Buncombe County is also showing how much they care with “Pet Safety for the Holidays.” Note the simply adorable photo of the puppy about to eat all the Christmas tree ornaments. It illustrates the main thrust of the missive: Don’t let your pets eat Christmas decorations. To those of us who can’t grasp that, the nanny note breaks it down: Don’t let your pet eat tinsel. Don’t let it eat glass ornaments; slivers can cut skin and cause bleeding. Don’t let you pet eat pine needles or Christmas bulbs, potpourri, batteries, or burning candles.

Now, here’s the new thingy: Don’t feed pets bones; they may splinter and damage the digestive tract. With a knick-knack paddy whack, in their natural habitat, dogs always preferred organic soy yum-yums.