Q:    According to a new survey, 40% of us did THIS at least once this year.  That’s up 5% from 2016. What is it?


A: Called in sick at least once this year when we WEREN’T really sick


The most common reason was for a doctor’s appointment.  But is that really “faking” a sick day?


The rest of the top five REAL reasons were, “I just didn’t feel like working” . . . “I wanted to relax” . . . “I wanted to sleep in” . . . and “I needed to run errands.”


Q:    According to a new study, you will spend anywhere from 20-40 minutes less at a relative’s house this Thanksgiving because of this. What is it?


A: Politics


Two researchers ran a pretty in-depth study using people’s cell phone location tracking from last Thanksgiving . . . and found people who were from areas that voted Democratic spend an average of 20 to 30 minutes less at their relatives’ houses in Republican areas.  And people from Republican areas spend 40 minutes less at their Democratic relatives’ homes.


 They also found that political ads on TV are REALLY ruining Thanksgiving.  For every thousand political commercials that aired in a city, Thanksgiving dinners were one-and-a-half minutes shorter. 


Q:    A new survey found the best things you can do to become part of a new neighborhood.  #1 is:  Always say “hello” to your neighbors. #2 was: Visit the local restaurants and bars. What was the #3 thing you can do to become part of a new neighborhood?


A: Accept packages for your next-door neighbors.


4.  Make an effort to have conversations with people on your street.


5.  Invite people over for coffee.


6.  Volunteer for a community project.


7.  Invite your neighbor over for dinner.


8.  Offer to keep an eye on your neighbor’s house while they’re away.


9.  Go to events at the school.


10.  Get a dog.


Q:    According to a new survey (from Petsies), having THIS happen is as painful emotionally as a divorce, and even worse than being fired or having a friend move, according to a new survey. What is it?


A: Losing a pet


The loss of a family member, unsurprisingly, was ranked at the most painful — but tied at a close second were ‘the loss of a pet’ and ‘a divorce’.


Losing a pet was also ranked as more painful than not seeing one’s children for a long time, a breakup, not seeing a significant other for a long time, being fire, and having a friend move away.

That’s not surprising when one considered how much happiness these people reported getting from their pups and kitties.


People said they receive as much joy — a 6.2 out of 7 — from their pets as their significant others, and they get more joy from them than a best friend, parents, siblings, and co-workers.


Q:    A new study (out of Virginia Commonwealth University) says that when you do THIS you feel good…. But, after about 5 minutes you feel worse. What is it?


A: Get revenge on someone


The researchers say, quote, “When we follow up with people five minutes, 10 minutes, and 45 minutes later, they actually report feeling WORSE than they did before they sought revenge.”


Why?  It’s because getting your revenge magnifies whatever the person did to you that made you so upset in the first place . . . and makes you fixate on it even more. 


If you just stew about what they did but don’t act, eventually you figure out other ways to cope with it. 


Q:    According to a new survey, 60% of Americans say they’d be willing to give up gifts completely this holiday season if they could do THIS! What is it?


A: Spend time with their family.


 And 69% say if a family member proposed “no gifts” this year, they’d agree to it.


 The survey also found that if people didn’t have to buy presents, 47% would save or invest the money . . . 37% would pay down some debt . . . and 25% would pay for activities with their friends or family.


One more thing.  Another survey found that finding good gifts is SO hard that 67% of people say it’s easier to cook an entire holiday meal that everyone loves than to find the right gifts for all of them. 


Q:    According to a new survey, close to 80% of people say they rarely or NEVER do THIS while driving. What is it?


A: Honk at other drivers. 


That means only 22% of people admit they aren’t shy about using their horn . . . and that number seems RIDICULOUSLY low.


 (It’s worth noting that the survey was of drivers in the Pacific Northwest, which generally has more polite drivers than other states.)  


The survey also found 25% of people say when someone honks at them, it makes them FEEL BAD . . . another 25% say it makes them ANGRY . . . and 6% will use hand gestures to let the other driver know they didn’t like being honked at. 


Q:    According to a new survey, over 45% of people say the WORST fights they have with their family during the holidays are over THIS! What is it?


A: Who is sleeping where. 


The majority of Americans say they’ve told a lie or made up an excuse to a relative during the holidays to avoid an uncomfortable sleeping situation.


And 81% of us have wound up losing the battle and sleeping somewhere uncomfortable when sharing a house with our relatives.


62% have wound up on a couch . . . 44% on the floor . . . 13% in a tiny children’s bed . . . and 7% in a tent in the backyard.


Q:    According to a new survey, people say that this time of the year is the HAPPIEST time of the year at their job . . . but also the most STRESSFUL.


The top reason WHY these are the most stressful two months is balancing holiday events and your job (32%). What is the #2 reason?


A: Taking time off and coming back to a giant pile of work, 23%.


3.  Having lots of people on vacation leading to more work for everyone else, 18%.


4.  Trying to figure out what gifts to buy for your coworkers or clients, 11%.


5.  Going to company holiday events, 8%.


 So what would make things LESS stressful?  37% of people say if they got a nice end-of-the-year bonus, suddenly things wouldn’t seem so rough anymore. 


Q:   According to a new study (out of England), people whose moms did this when they were growing up turn out to be more SUCCESSFUL as adults.


A: Nagged them


They’re more likely to go to college, avoid making really bad life choices, and have better paying jobs.


The researchers say, quote, “No matter how hard we tried to avoid our parents’ recommendations, it’s likely that they ended up influencing choices we consider extremely personal.”


In other words, your mom is still in your head at all times, steering the ship, even if you THINK you’re an adult making your own decisions.