Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday 9: Silent Night

Saturday 9: Silent Night (1957)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) How well do you know "Silent Night?" Without looking up the lyrics, could you sing along with Elvis?

A. I can sing along with Elvis, at least, the first verse. Not sure about the other verses.

2) The Christmas with Elvis album hit the stores in October 1957. Were you already preparing for Christmas back in October?

A. I think I had made a few purchases by then.

3) Clearly Elvis liked a flocked white Christmas tree. Is your tree flocked, aluminum or pine green? Real or artificial? Or do you skip the whole tree thing altogether?

A. My tree is an artificial pencil tree, pine green, with multi-colored twinkling lights (as opposed to blinking).

4) Back in the late 1950s, Elvis left his hair its natural brown color. In the 1960s he began having it dyed black. Do you have a salon appointment scheduled between now and year end?

A. I was supposed to have one Thursday but I was sick. Now it's scheduled for next Friday. We will see if it comes to pass.

5) Have you ever peeked, looking for a Christmas gift you know is hidden for you somewhere in the house?

A. When I was young. I make a big deal out of looking for presents from my husband, but I don't really want to know what I am getting.

6)  Which do you prefer, candy canes or gingerbread?

A. Gingerbread.

7) Is anyone receiving a home made or do-it-yourself gift from you this year?

A. I usually give the neighbors homemade goodies, but I have to be well to cook. I won't do it if I am sick and at the moment I am not well enough to breathe on anyone's batter.

8) Do you wrap holiday gifts in paper, or do you take the gift bag route?

A. I do both.

9) This time of year is big for charitable fundraising. Here's your chance to plug a cause or organization that's near and dear to you.

A. To be honest, I think this is an awful time for charities to ask for donations. People are already strapped for money, and lots of localities have taxes due in November or December, and federal tax estimates are due by January 15. I think charities should ask for money in June or July, when people have already paid their taxes and aren't thinking of big purchases for whatever reason. I generally give to my favorite charities in the summer months, not now, except for dropping dollars in the Salvation Army buckets.

But if you need a charity, consider one that fights pancreatic cancer. It is a killer cancer that is seriously underfunded even though it has taken the lives of celebrities such as Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze. It is one of the few cancers in which the death rate is climbing instead of falling. In fact, it is now the third leading cause of death. This year, over 53,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and over 43,000 will die from it. Seventy-four percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within a year of diagnosis. There is no way to diagnose pancreatic cancer in its early stages, and it has generally advanced beyond help when it is found.

My mother and my husband's aunt both died of pancreatic cancer. I am at risk for it because my mother had it. I have already decided if I should ever be diagnosed with it, I will not accept treatment. The treatment was as bad as the cancer itself, and whatever extra time it gave either woman was not time well lived. I'd rather go six months sooner than live another six months in agony and pain.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has a high rating at Charity Navigator. You can also simply give to the American Cancer Society, although it spends a lot of money trying to make money, so the first might be preferable.

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8 comments:

  1. As one who's in marketing, I find your answer to #9 fascinating. You're thinking like someone who's self employed or a small business owner. On the other hand, lots of people are trying to find places to PUT money before 12/31 so they can get a charitable deduction from the IRS.

    And kudos to you for checking out organizations before you give! We all work too hard to send our money to scam artists, and there are too many people who need our help to waste it.

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  2. Hope you feel better soon...its no fun being sick around the holidays!

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  3. Bless you for not breathing on the cookie dough! I always cringe when the kids on the bus bring me something that they've helped make and they are coughing and snuffing...I thank them warmly and then take it home to the trash. You deserve to feel better immediately just for that! I hope you are better, at least, before Christmas gets here.

    Thanks for highlighting The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, another great cause and one that doesn't get enough attention.

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  4. I'm with you about donating at other times of the year.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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  5. You have a lot of good points in that charity answer. I have known people with that same cancer and it is really sad for everyone.

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  6. I never give money to the Salvation Army (or to Red Cross, for that matter) because their operating costs are too high and the people they serve get a smaller percentage than other organizations. I also don't like the Salvation Army's stand on social issues (the reported claim that it feels gays should be put to death get mixed yes/nos on Snope) I like donating to one of the cancer organizations.

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  7. I, too, like your idea of giving in June. The fiscal year starts in July so at least that's not so far fetched. We picked twelve groups to give money to and so we give every month to a different one. That way we can give all we can but only once a month.
    Colon and pancreatic cancers are on the rise and affecting more and more younger people. We need an to wrest this away from some of the hangers on among big charities and get people screened earlier. No one should have to die of colon cancer. Not anymore. The Bloody insurance companies need to back off and listen to the science!

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  8. I usually get “angels” from the local bank which are children in our local area that social services have deemed are from families in need. I pick a boy one year and a girl the next and some years I would get both. I have done this ever since I got out of high school and started working, however this year I was told there weren’t any “angels” left. Supposedly there were fewer children this year in need of Christmas. I’m hoping this is a good sign and not that some poor child will not have Christmas.

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