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An alternate title for this week's episode: "Death, Sex & Money's 2020 Year-End Sucktacular."
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Host Anna Sale and the logos for Death, Sex & Money and WNYC Studios, all on a beige background.

We made it! Even if nothing else changes, in four days, at least it won't be 2020 any more!

Even though we'll still be in a pandemic, with an uncertain and shaky future, the new year is a welcome reminder that time is going to keep marching on.

As I write this, I hear a four year-old in the other room belting out, "Tooo-morrow! Toooooooooo-morrow!" I just introduced my daughter to the song from Annie, via this lovely/strange Oval Office scene from the 1982 movie version. You're only a day a-waaaaaaaaay.
 
In our new episode, out today, the team looks back at what we made together in 2020, often with our listeners' help. As I talked to each of the producers, I noticed myself thanking them over and over again. I'm so proud of what we made together, under some pretty strange circumstances.

And I want to thank you too—for writing in, sharing your voice memos, making financial contributions. If you haven't already, and if you can, please make a year-end donation to Death, Sex & Money before the end of this year.

And I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2021.

—Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money

In 2020, we put out more than 60 episodes of Death, Sex & Money—far more than we've ever put out in a year before. We decided early on in the pandemic that we wanted to be there for our listeners during this especially difficult and isolating time. 

This year, we heard from essential workers, from Black listeners processing police violence and injustice, and from many people losing loved ones and missing important milestones, all while isolated from each other. We also shared the books and the podcasts we love, came up with a tool kit for how to pass the time, and tried to find moments of joy.

Today, the Death, Sex & Money team reflects on highlights from this year’s episodes, and we check in with a few of the listeners we got to know this year. Listen in your podcast feeds now.

Your Stories: What 2020 Has Given Us
We've heard from many of you about our recent episode on the losses we've experienced this year. But many of you also wanted to celebrate what you've gained in 2020, like a listener named Claudia, who emailed us this note while listening:
"One of the greatest things 2020's given me is this unexpected time with my nine-year-old daughter. I co-parent with my ex-husband and have been since she was a year old. Time has always been a precious thing and it’s never seemed like there was enough of it. During the pandemic, I’ve had more than half of the week of just the two of us (and our dog) coexisting, sometimes in parallel, and other times in symbiosis. It’s been amazing, frustrating, claustrophobic, overwhelming, comforting, hilarious and beautiful in so many ways. Earlier this week, we received a letter from her school that they are likely to go back to in person teaching in January and I burst into tears.

I’m relieved for her and I’m relieved for myself because this is not sustainable for many reasons. But I am also deeply sad to have it be over. Nine is an age, I think, where every parent starts realizing that the process of independence and letting go is well on its way. This felt like a small gift–a pause–where only the two of us existed in a world that was itself on pause. And I will always be grateful for it."

—Claudia

Listen to This: Audio We Love

The podcast art for the show The Journal. The words "The Journal." in white capital letters on a orange background that becomes static-y and orange and white. The WSJ and Gimlet logos are in the bottom left and bottom right corners.
The Radiolab podcast art, featuring the letter "r" in white surrounded by a light blue circle, which is ringed by a slightly larger white circle, and then a slightly larger dark blue circle. The word "Radiolab" is below the circle with "Radio" in the light blue color, and "Lab" in the dark blue color.

Song Exploder, but make it the business of Mariah Carey. On a recent episode of The Journal, from The Wall Street Journal, reporter John Jurgensen digs into the history of her hit song “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and why it’s only gotten more popular since it first came out in 1994. Featuring an appearance from Mimi herself and a deep dive into the history of music streaming, take the opportunity to listen to an undisputed bop while learning something at the same time. (And yes, we know Christmas was last week, but this song is evergreen. As Mariah says, “I’m really happy I wrote this song, because it makes me happy every year.“)

And in a recent Radiolab episode, reporter Tracie Hunte looks at the parallels between our current moment and the early days of the AIDS movement. In the late '80s and early '90s, AIDS activists used a wide range of creative tactics to get the government’s attention, from the AIDS quilt to storming the NIH facility, and even throwing the ashes of those who died of AIDS on the White House lawn. But the story isn’t just about protest—it’s also a poignant story about grieving publicly and out loud.

"I'm very fortunate to be able to work from home, and I'm actually saving money with everything happening in the world. This show provides some needed relief, and I can't thank you enough!"
—Preston, Washington, D.C.

Join Preston in supporting our work at Death, Sex & Money!
Donate now at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
See you in 2021!

Thanks for listening and reading.
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