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Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Wednesday, December 16

Over 1,000 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, took part in the second annual All-American Presents from Paratroopers toy drive (aka A2P2) — which resulted in thousands of toys being donated to local children in need.
The event involved the paratroopers jumping out of helicopters and a cargo plane into drop zones — led by a jumpmaster from the country of Chile.
The soldiers who jumped were awarded Chilean wings — and all the toys were delivered to different organizations throughout the state of North Carolina. “It’s great to get your foreign [wings] and all, but [A2P2] has a bigger purpose: giving back to the community and being able to bring the unit together … and that’s what brings us all joy,” said Army 1st Lt. Blake Wilson.

The Daily Dish – Wednesday, December 16

Jennifer Lopez will headline Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2021 on ABC.
Ryan’s co-host will be, for the second straight year, Lucy Hale.
Joining J-Lo on stage in New York City’s Times Square will be performances by Billy PorterCyndi Lauper and country singer Jimmie Allen.
In Los Angeles, Ciara will introduce performers, who often pre-record their act. ABC promised to release details of more performances from different locations very soon. (Just Jared)

Tom Cruise let the expletives fly after two crew members were found breaking COVID-19 protocols during filming of Mission: Impossible 7.
The Sun published an audio recording from the set. In the three-minute clip, Tom shouted, “If I see you do it again, you’re [bleeping] gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it.”
According to sources, the outburst happened because Tom saw two crew members not adhering to proper social distancing on the set.
Tom also argued that the entire film industry hinges on them following the protocols. The star said, “We are creating thousands of jobs, you [bleeps]. That’s it. No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their [expletive] homes because our industry is shut down.”
Mission: Impossible 7 is set to open on November 19th, 2021.

Lily James and Sebastian Stan will play Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in a new limited series for Hulu.
While their infamous sex tape will play a major part in the show, according to Deadline, the story will also chronicle their “relationship going back to their whirlwind romance that started with them marrying after only knowing each other for 96 hours in 1995.”
Seth Rogen will play the man who stole the tape, which was at the center of a huge legal dispute.
The Baywatch star and Mötley Crüe drummer are not involved in the production, which has the working title Pam & Tommy.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Wednesday, December 16

Chocolate Covered Anything Day: ‘Tis the season, after all …

Maybe it’s time to revisit that high school biology class … or at least a game of Operation. According to a new survey, 73% of people said they don’t know what most of their organs do or where they’re located. How bad is it? Only 38% of survey respondents were able to accurately describe what their colon does.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way … A 28-year-old man in Scotland broke lockdown rules by buying a jet ski and riding it for almost 25 miles to go see his girlfriend in the Isle of Man. The guy, Dale McLaughlan, had never even ridden a jet ski before. According to the BBC, it took him four hours to get to the island, where he had to walk another 15 miles to get to his girlfriend’s house. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a break for creativity … or perseverance. He was arrested, charged with illegally entering the island, and put in jail for four weeks. (Insider)

Thinking of ditching meat in 2021? This may be some motivation … A study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that a low-fat, plant-based diet can boost fat burning and weight loss, as well as lower the risk of diabetes.

Speaking of plant-based … You may want to add some beans to your diet in the new year. Seems the people in the world who live the longest and are the healthiest all have one thing in common: They eat beans every day. According to Dan Buettner, longevity researcher and author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, “Beans reign supreme in Blue Zones and are the cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world: black beans in Nicoya; lentils, garbanzo, and white beans in the Mediterranean; and soybeans in Okinawa.” He says people in these Blue Zones, who live to more than 100, eat at least four times as many beans as Americans do. They also eat mostly plants, lots of olive oil, not much meat or fish, and very little sugar. (Eat This, Not That)

Music News – Wednesday, December 16

Shawn Mendes is not gay. Camila Cabello is truly his girlfriend.
That’s one message that Shawn Mendes tried to send while chatting with Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast.
Shawn admitted that he’s been mistaken for gay since middle school. He called it frustrating. (quote) “It’s such a tricky thing. You want to say, ‘I’m not gay but it’d be fine if I was gay — but also there’s nothing wrong with being gay but I’m not.’”
Shawn exhibits a strong feminine side because he grew up surrounded by women. (quote) “I didn’t grow up wrestling. I grew up getting my hair braided on New Year’s Eve.”
During their one-hour conversation, Shawn said he’s been focused on his mental health. He’s gotten into meditation. And when that doesn’t work, he reaches for a joint. (People)

We all know the kind of tunes that end up on those sappy “wedding song” playlists, but what about the sounds of the bachelor and bachelorette parties?
Spotify has just dropped its 2020 list of songs that folks play during their bachelorette party, including hits like:
  • “Wannabe” – Spice Girls
  • “Jumpin’, Jumpin”– Destiny’s Child
  • “Truth Hurts”– Lizzo
  • “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper
  • “Crazy in Love (feat. Jay Z)” – BeyoncéJay-Z
  • “Run the World (Girls)” – Beyoncé
  • “Any Man of Mine” – Shania Twain

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Tuesday, December 15

In Raeford, North Carolina, a 91-year-old Korean War veteran — who wishes to remain anonymous — made a big impact on his community by donating hundreds of meals to families in need.
The man entered his local Food Lion grocery store and headed straight to the customer service counter, where he wrote a $1,500 check for the store’s “Holidays Without Hunger” program. He also wrote a $500 check for 100 pre-packaged meal boxes, which are also part of the program. These boxes contain food for a family of four and are donated to local food banks.
Store manager Charles Campbell said it was the largest single donation by an individual in the program’s 17-year history.
The man behind the donation said he didn’t want any publicity, explaining that he “plain and simple didn’t want people to be hungry.”

The Daily Dish – Tuesday, December 15

Forbes magazine ranked the highest-paid celebrities for the year. Kylie Jenner made the most with $590 million based on the sale of majority stake in her cosmetics company. The 23-year-old also happens to be the youngest and the only woman in the top 10.
Kylie’s bother-in-law, Kanye West, ranked second with earnings of $170 million in 2020, due to his partnership with Adidas. (E! News)
Five athletes are ranked among the Top 10: Tennis champion Roger Federer, soccer studs Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and NBA All-star LeBron James.

Sharon Osbourne revealed on social media Monday that she’s tested positive for the coronavirus. The Talk host said she’s self-isolating away from husband Ozzy Osbourne, and that she was hospitalized for a time. (Deadline)

Pippa Middleton is pregnant with her second child, according to Page Six. The younger sister of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, already has a 2-year-old son named Arthur with husband James Matthews. A source says, “Pippa and James are thrilled, it’s fantastic news amid a difficult year. The entire family is delighted.”

The NY Post says George Clooney’s admission that he cuts his hair with a Flowbee has resulted in Flowbee’s selling out. The newspaper quotes Clooney as saying, “I should have gotten stock in that company before I told that story. I really screwed up on that one. So now I know: Next time I endorse something, I’m going to own some stock before I do.”

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Tuesday, December 15

Bill of Rights Day: This day recognizes the significance of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
National Cupcake Day: A good day for a cupcake.

With fewer people eating in restaurants and a decrease in tourism because of coronavirus, beef producers and suppliers in Japan have a surplus of prime meat. So, they are given the surplus to schools. That means grade school students are getting Kobe beef in their school lunches. Yes, the same Kobe (or wagyu) beef that sells for up to $200 a pound. (Food & Wine)

How do you feel about giving donations in a person’s name as a holiday gift? According to a recent YouGov poll, a majority of respondents thought it was a good idea. 58% said if someone gave them the gift of a donation made in their name, they would consider it a good gift. The survey also found that women (62%) were more likely to say a donation in their name was a good gift compared to men (54% ). And older Americans (55 and older) were more likely to appreciate a donation made in their name than younger Americans (18 to 24) – 63% vs. 49%.

Should parents be responsible when kids make unauthorized online purchases? Connecticut mom Jessica Johnson is stuck with a $16,000 bill after her 6-year-old son, George, went on an online gaming shopping spree, making a bunch of in-app purchases while playing Sonic Forces on her iPad. What started as a few micro purchases at $1.99 graduated to $99 purchases and more that Jessica initially thought were fraudulent. Instead of reporting the charges to her credit card company, Jessica went directly to her bank. But once they found the culprit, the 60-day grace period to contest charges had passed — leaving her without recourse from Apple or PayPal. Seems Jessica didn’t know she had to initiate special settings on the game to prevent this from happening – and reportedly Apple had no sympathy.
“My son didn’t understand that the money was real. How could he?” she said. “He’s playing a cartoon game in a world that he knows is not real. Why would the money be real to him? That would require a big cognitive leap.” Jessica, a real estate broker who works on commission, is now struggling to pay off the debt.

Let Santa drive your sleigh … Waze is letting Santa Claus give you directions through the month of December. From now until December 31st, St. Nick can make sure your sleigh gets over the river and through the woods to its destination. To get Santa as your navigator just hit the search icon and select “Drive with Santa,” then turn on any (or all) of the three features you want. (Mashable)

Music News – Tuesday, December 15

Who runs the world? According to Forbes magazine, Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift sure have a hand in it.
Those ladies all made the business magazine’s list of the World’s Most Powerful Women, mingling with heads of state, business leaders and media titans. Rihanna ranks highest among the singing icons, landing at number-69, mostly for her charitable efforts and the success of Fenty. Beyonce ranked 72nd on the list, and Taylor, who’s been busier than anyone else during lockdown, nestled at number-82
The mag’s editors chose German chancellor Angela Merkel as the single most powerful woman in the world.

Blake Shelton tells Rolling Stone Magazine about how Adam Levine used to drive him crazy on ‘The Voice’. “Adam is a 14-year-old boy trapped in a 30-whatever-he-is body. And that includes his attention span. When he got on something, you need to take a Tylenol and get ready, because that’s what you’re gonna hear about for the next month.”

TMZ says Pepa, from Salt N Pepa, is suing Dr. David Sayah for negligence. She says he pressured her into multiple butt surgeries. Dr. David is accused of botching the surgeries with poorly made implants. Apparently, Pepa’s behind hardened and knotted up causing her to look way worse than her natural form.

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Monday, December 14

Police officers in Carrollton, Texas, were dealing with a routine call, when they were able to really impact the life of a man in need.
Somebody had called about a homeless man and his broken down wheelchair.
The guy was stranded. So, one of the officers stepped up and purchased a new wheelchair for the man from a local pharmacy.
A body camera recorded the whole scene.
The homeless man asked, “How much do I owe you?”
The officer responded, “Nothing. This is for you.”
“Oh, man. This is amazing,” the homeless man said. “It’s wonderful.”

The Daily Dish – Monday, December 14

Pop singer FKA Twigs isn’t the only woman who has a beef with Shia LaBeouf. Fellow pop singer and songwriter Sia has accused the actor of tricking her into an illicit relationship.
In a tweet, the 44-year-old singer says, “I too have been hurt emotionally by Shia, a pathological liar, who conned me into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single. I believe he’s very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims. Just know, if you love yourself – stay safe, stay away.”
In a follow-up tweet, she writes, “Also I love you ⁦@FKAtwigs This is very courageous and I’m very proud of you.”
On Friday, Twigs filed a lawsuit against Shia accusing him of physically, mentally and emotionally abusing her during their relationship in 2018.
Sia didn’t give any details on her relationship with Shia, but he did appear in her 2015 music video for  “Elastic Heart.” At the time, he was dating Mia Goth.

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are trying to have a baby. A source told Entertainment Tonight (quote) “They always wanted kids. They’ve been talking about having children in their near future.”
They’re camped in London while she films a movie. Like most of us this year, their Christmas plans are rather “simple.”
Priyanka and Nick recently celebrated their second anniversary. She’s turning 39 years old in 2021. And without the possibility of Nick touring next year, so it seems to be a convenient time to start a family.
Priyanka has said that she wants “as many babies as God would give us.” (Entertainment Tonight)

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West “very much live separate lives,” a source tells People magazine.
The couple had a rocky year as the rapper ran for president. The insider says, “Kim has work and projects that are important to her, and Kanye has his. Their lives don’t overlap much.”
But the couple doesn’t plan to divorce. The source says that “Kim seems happy” and is “very focused on work and causes,” namely prison reform.
Though their relationship seemed on the brink of disaster after Kanye took up residence in Wyoming, the two reconnected in August. Just a few weeks ago Kim wished her hubby a “happy 10 year anniversary.”

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Monday, December 14

National Roasted Chestnuts Day: A good day to roast some chestnuts on an open fire …

Cheers to this … A new study from Iowa State has revealed that regularly eating cheese and drinking wine – particularly red wine – may help reduce cognitive decline as you age – and may help to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Have you been walking through the grocery store or pharmacy looking for cleaning products and noticed the short supply on the shelves seems to be a continuing problem? ABC says Clorox disinfecting wipes are going to continue to be in short supply until mid 2021 because of the coronavirus. Clorox is shipping 1.5 million packages of wipes on a daily basis and they appear to be going quickly the moment they hit shelves everywhere.

One bright spot to the pandemic? People are reaching out to loved ones – even ones they haven’t talked to in a long time. A new survey found that 50% of respondents said they have reached out to a family member or friend they’ve previously lost touch with. Seems that this holiday season there is a stronger desire to put away past differences and reconnect. The survey also found that coronavirus has changed the way people think about the holidays – with 76% saying that this year they just want to be with loved ones and enjoy good food. And 63% said they are looking forward to the holidays more than ever so they can spend time with the ones they love – even if that means spending time together virtually. (SWNS)

CBS says a Secret Santa has been mailing thousands of dollars to essential workers in the U.S.. A nurse in Houston, a sanitation worker from Sarasota, Florida, a server from Pittsburgh and a security guard from Kansas City all received $1,000 in the mail. The Secret Santa plans to send $100,000 to more essential workers before Christmas.
The Santa, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells CBS, “You know kindness, when freely given, with no expectation in return – is, in fact, unconditional love. And that’s really what we’re giving them.”

Music News – Monday, December 14

Taylor Swift is full of surprises, but an elopement is not one of them.
Fans have been speculating that the white dress she wears in the video for her new single “Willow” is a hint that she and Joe Alwyn have gotten married. But TMZ reports that it’s not the case — it’s just a gown.
“Willow” is on Tay’s new surprise album, Evermore.

Britney Spears isn’t done with the surprises.
Her new deluxe reissue of her 2016 album Glory features a previously unreleased track with Backstreet Boys. “Matches” is a vintage Britney dance track, and you can listen to it now on YouTube.

Blake Shelton tells NBC that he wants Maroon 5 frontman and fellow judge from The Voice, Adam Levine, to perform at his and Gwen Stefani’s wedding.  “I’ve been doing this a long time now and I’ve got a lot of favors out there; he may not like it but Adam Levine’s going to have to get the band together and come and play our wedding. I’ve already seen a music video where they crash people’s weddings and he owes me a lot for just putting up with him over the years.”

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Friday, December 11

Graduation day at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was extra special this year because it featured Melody Ormond graduating — alongside her 75-year-old grandmother, Pat.
Pat had gone to college before, but only had a few credits.
So, back in 2017, she found herself retired and admittedly bored. Melody stepped up and suggested she enroll in school.
That’s where the adventure started. Melody and Pat became classmates and worked together to earn their degrees.
After working hard for more than three years, Melody and Pat graduated. The school held a socially-distanced graduation ceremony and guests were not allowed in person. But, that didn’t matter too much as Melody and Pat had a family member there to celebrate — each other.

The Daily Dish – Friday, December 11

On Thursday, The Talk co-host Carrie Ann Inaba called in sick to work with COVID symptoms.
Carrie Ann posted a video from bed. She warned her followers that despite being vigilant about safety protocols, she still caught the coronavirus. Carrie Ann said on Instagram Stories (quote) “I just tested positive for COVID-19. So I am home. I am following the guidelines. I have a fever and bad cough and lots of aches and pains.”
Carrie Ann Inaba added a reminder from the CDC to wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Keep your distance when possible. Wash your hands frequently. (People)

Keeping Up With the Kardashians has a new home. The family’s reality series will move to Hulu after the 20th season airs on the E! Network.
Three months ago, Kris Jenner announced the finale season, which starts early next year. At the time, it sounded as if the show had run its course. The sisters, in particular Kourtney Kardashian, appeared exhausted by the constant intrusion of cameras. Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner reportedly threatened to quit.
Disney must have offered them a sweet deal, though details are scarce. About a year from now, new Keeping Up With the Kardashians episodes will stream on Hulu. Disney’s announcement said the family would create “global content” for Hulu. (E! News)

Things just keep getting uglier in Kelly Clarkson‘s split from estranged husband Brandon Blackstock — now that she’s accused him of stealing millions of dollars.
Kelly, who filed for divorce earlier this year, went to the California Labor Commission, claiming her ex, who also served as her personal manager, overcharged her in a big way and she wants him to pay her back. Brandon’s company, headed up by his dad, previously filed a suit against Kelly claiming she owed the company $1.4 mil in commissions.
This is the latest in a series of divorce squabbles: Kel won custody of the couple’s kids, but Brandon now wants $300,000 a month in spousal support. (TMZ)

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Friday, December 11

  • International Mountain Day
  • Have a Bagel Day
Also … It’s December 11th … exactly two weeks till Christmas. Are you ready?

Seems virtual love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be … Apparently a lot of people who “fell in love” over Zoom had a very different reaction when meeting in real life. The sparks that flew virtually just didn’t carry over to real-life chemistry. “What’s happening is when we meet someone for the first time after video dating, there’s some familiarity already,” said Jacqueline Mendez, an L.A.-based marriage-family and sex therapist. “We feel we know this person, but we really only know the presentation of this person.” (NY Times)

What would we do without our furry friends? A survey by DogTV revealed that dogs really are our emotional support animals – even if they aren’t officially designated that way. 64% of dog owners surveyed said they don’t know where they’d be without their dog’s love and support. And 70% said their dog knows them better than they know themselves. Those surveyed said their pups had helped them get through everything from starting new jobs, to moving, to heartbreak. And a whopping 68% said their dogs are the only reason they’ve stayed sane during coronavirus lockdowns. (SWNS)

Just in time for Christmas, the perfect stocking stuffer: an over-the-counter COVID test has been approved by the FDA. You’ll have to send your nasal swab sample to a lab for testing, but still – no long lines! The kits are already being sold online and should be in stores soon.

Are people busy eating cookies as therapy through these hard times? You bet! And, Pepperidge Farm can’t keep up! The coronavirus has people out sick at Pepperidge Farm production plants. Problem is, their cookies with their unique shape can’t be sent out to another manufacturer, plus with high demand, get ’em while you can in stores. Since the pandemic began, cookie buying is up 25 percent. One in five Americans eat over three cookies per day.

Music News – Friday, December 11

She’s done it again. Taylor Swift has announced via social media that she will drop a new album titled evermore. It premiered at midnight today.
Taylor shared a post on Instagram saying the surprise project is the “sister” to her earlier 2020 release, folklore. She writes, “It feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in.”

Music-news.com says Taylor Swift has donated $26,000 to two fans in need. Nikki Cornwell and Shelbie Selewski received the money after falling on hard times.
Taylor posted the following message to Nikki: “I’m so sorry for everything you’ve had to go through this year and wanted to send you this gift, from one Nashville girl to another.”
She told Shelbie: “No one should have to feel the kind of stress that’s been put on you. I hope you and your beautiful family have a great holiday season.”

Hello magazine says Mariah Carey is petitioning to meet the Queen of England. She tweeted: ”Petitioning for an audience with the Queen re: All I Want For Christmas Is You” No word yet as to why she wants to meet the queen so bad in the middle of a pandemic to talk about a song she made in the 90s.

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Thursday, December 10

When she was just two years old, Aryn Diggs was diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to surgery and chemotherapy, Aryn recovered and bounced back in a big way.
But … She remembered a few things that she didn’t like about the experience, including the socks she had to wear. She remembers those hospital socks as being “drab.”
Now that she’s at full-strength, 7-year-old Aryn is doing all she can to brighten the days of other young people battling cancer.
Aryn and her mom, Marissa, worked together on a book called “Socks With Stories,” and recently shared that book with kids in the hospital.
The kids get the book, along with fun, fuzzy socks, which were designed by other children battling cancer.
Everyone involved understands that socks are a small thing, but they can change a patient’s experience.
Whenever Aryn meets someone, her message is clear: “Be confident. Don’t be scared.”

The Daily Dish – Thursday, December 10

Johnny Depp’s reputation took a big hit during his U.K. defamation case. Now he’s poised to take an even bigger hit in his American defamation case.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the case has uncovered shocking details about Johnny’s life. The big rumor? He was allegedly “romantic” with co-stars Angelina Jolie, Marion Cotillard and Keira Knightley. Even worse: He’ll have to turn over “all responsive communications” with the actresses as part of the case.
Johnny’s seeking $50 million in the suit over a December 2018 essay by ex-wife Amber Heard in the Washington Post in which she wrote about  abuse, but never named Depp.
In July, the actor argued against involving his past romantic partners in the case, claiming documents related to them would be “irrelevant, immaterial, or unnecessary.”
The new defamation case will go to trial in early 2021 in Virginia.

Jessica Simpson is producing not one but two TV shows based on her best-selling memoir.
The star has signed a deal with Amazon Studios to executive produce a “fictionalized” series and an unscripted docuseries inspired by Open Book.
On Instagram, the singer wrote, “I am humbled and honored to partner with @amazonstudios to bring my story and heart to life on the screen and executive produce a fictionalized coming of age series about my mid-twenties, a new intimate unscripted docuseries with music as a key component and 2 essays where I will share my soul and perspective while holding your heart close to mine.”
Open Book, which came out in February, details Jessica’s past relationships as well as her struggles with addiction.

George Clooney lost 28 pounds for his role in The Midnight Sky — and it landed him in the hospital.
According to the U.K.’s Mirror, the 59-year-old developed pancreatitis a few days before filming was set to begin and was hospitalized with stomach pains.
George tells the Mirror, “I think I was trying too hard to lose the weight quickly and probably wasn’t taking care of myself.”
Clooney, who also directs the film, adds, “It took a few weeks to get better and as a director, it’s not so easy because you need energy. We were out on this glacier in Finland, which made it a lot harder work. But it certainly helped with the character.”
In the movie George plays a scientist who races to contact a crew of astronauts in the Arctic to warn them not to return to Earth.
The Midnight Sky comes out December 23rd.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Thursday, December 10

  • The first day of Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins today at sundown.
  • Human Rights Day
  • Nobel Prize Day
  • National Lager Day

It’s time to start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions … and if you want 2021 to be the year you’re finally successful with your resolution(s), you should start with re-wording your goal. Seems when most people make a resolution, they often vow to “quit” doing something. According to a new study from Stockholm University in Sweden, the key to success is vowing to “start” doing something instead. The researchers found that people are 12% more likely to stick to their resolutions for the year if they avoid making vows like “I will quit …” or “I will avoid …” and instead say, “I will start …”
According to study author Professor Per Carlbring, “In many cases, rephrasing your resolution could definitely work. For example, if your goal is to stop eating sweets in order to lose weight, you will most likely be more successful if you say, ‘I will eat fruit several times a day’ instead.” (Daily Mail)

Is there a book you loved this year? A candle you can’t do without? A bottle of wine you love? When it comes to shopping for holiday gifts, a lot of us are making it so much harder than it has to be. According to a study from the University of Cincinnati, we tend to avoid getting the people on our list the same thing … even if we think more than one person would like this particular gift. Seems we look at buying the same gift for multiple people as taking the “easy way out.” Don’t make yourself crazy. If you think more than one person will love a gift, just get it. (Women’s Health)

Vaccine or vodka? People all over the world are hopeful that new COVID vaccines will lead us all back to a normal way of life soon, but it’s leaving Russians in the tough position of having to choose between vaccine or vodka. Health officials there are warning people that if they receive the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, they will have to give up booze for about two months after, because alcohol could weaken the immune system. There’s been no word yet from Pfizer or Moderna whether Americans will also need to stay sober for their versions of the vaccine. (TMZ)

Music News – Thursday, December 10

Kelly Clarkson didn’t just clean house after splitting with Brandon Blackstock, she got rid of her house and snagged a brand new one.
She opened up to Fran Drescher, who went through a very public divorce several years ago, when the actress appeared on her talk show earlier this week. When Fran talked about starting over in a new home, Kel chimed in, saying  “It’s like you were in my last therapy session. I got a new house, it’s very white and clean, the same reasoning. And I also redid my office here. I looked at Kevin in our art department and I was like, ‘Please help me make this make sense.’ I was like, ‘I need to feel cleansed.’ I just wanted to feel happy and it does, the colors make me feel really good.”
Kelly sold her old suburban L.A. estate for $10 million earlier this year.

Mariah Carey splurged to create her Magical Christmas Special for Apple TV Plus.
She spent upward of $5 million for sets, costumes and guest stars, including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Eichner and Snoop Dogg.
A source said, (quote) “The special was created with huge production values. Mariah does nothing by half. Her styling alone, including hair and make-up, cost nearly $200,000. But everyone who knows Mariah knows she’s worth every penny.” (The Sun, UK)

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Wednesday, December 9

Because the tourism business declined this year, the residents of the coastal town of Ketchikan, Alaska, have been struggling a bit.
But, the appearance of a humpback whale has boosted the spirits of those residents — and has become a local hero.
Almost daily for the last month, the whale, nicknamed Phoenix, shows up, feeds on some fish and lunges out of the water — sometimes just yards away from onlookers on the shore.
The residents have started a Facebook page to keep everyone updated on the whereabouts of Phoenix.
This is a special whale, as many of Alaska’s humpback whales have actually moved on to Hawaiian waters.
But not Phoenix. For now, he’s hanging out in Alaska, enjoying his meals and dazzling the people there with his daily appearances.