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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

From cutie-pie kiddos to a Kevin Bacon Christmas song, here's this week's roundup of joy.

joy, kids, camel

Kids and camels and Kevin Bacon in this week's roundup of joy.

With another year almost in the bag, it's a natural time of reflection for a lot of us. What did we learn this year? How did we grow? What are we grateful for?

Some might be thinking about loss, grieving loved ones who have passed away. Some may have gone through big transitions this year and are reeling from the change. Some might look back with a realization that they want next year to be different, feeling resolved to take the steps necessary to build the life they envision.

In any year, there are moments we want to cherish and moments we don't want to relive. It's all part of the complex reality of being human—the ups and the downs, the good with the bad, the yin balancing the yang.


But what we focus on matters. When we celebrate the good, we nurture a mindset of optimism that can spill over into all parts of our lives. It's easy to point to everything that's bad and become a cynic. But when we shift our focus to the good, we find hope and faith in humanity again and again. And that can make a world of difference.

Here's a sampling of good to get you going:

1. Mom gets an unexpected expression of love from her sweet son with a speech delay.

@jaylabrenae5

It’s an even sweeter moment for me knowing I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me due to him being speech delayed. I’m in awe right now😭❤️ #momlife #sahm #mommoments #sweetestboy #toddlertalk #beautifulmoments

"It’s an even sweeter moment for me knowing I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me due to him being speech delayed," wrote Jayla. "I’m in awe right now.😭❤️" We are right there with you, Mama.

2. Baby tries pho for the first time and his reaction is 100% relatable.

@brookestersandmommy

10/10 recommended by Hendrix 🤣 #babyboy #pho #firsttime #baby

Pho for the win. Every time. (And baby named Hendrix? Also 10/10.)

3. This Army vs. Navy drumline battle is just nonstop awesome.

Drumlines are fun, but drumline battles are epic. Read the full story and watch last year's battle as well here.

4. Kevin Bacon and Old 97's have gifted us with the Christmas song of the season.

Kevin Bacon has been entertaining us musically throughout the pandemic, even singing Beyoncé with a bunch of goats. "Here It Is Christmastime" from "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is just icing on our Kevin Bacon cake.

See the scene from the special and learn how the song came about here.

5. She looked worried searching for her family, but when she spotted them it was pure joy.

That wee one's face lit up like a Christmas tree. A sweet reminder that showing up matters. Read the full story here.

6. Liquor store employee sees a man without shoes and immediately gives him the Jordans off her feet.

Ta Leia Thomas is known in her community for her kindness, but this spontaneous sacrificial act is just the best. Read the full story here.

7. Baby gets glasses for the first time and her reaction is priceless.

@kaseysimpson6

#trend #foryoupage❤️❤️ #blind #littlesister #firsttimeseeing #blowthisup #blindnessawareness #tikkok

Anyone who wears glasses can understand that moment of WOW. I remember thinking, "Wait, people can actually see blades of grass?" when I got my first pair of glasses. Clear sight is something we simply can't take for granted.

8. Throwback to this 3-year-old drumming prodigy who wipes his nose and drops his stick while barely missing a beat.

The kid is Russian drum prodigy Lyonya Shilovsky and the video is from when, at age 3, he impressively led an entire orchestra in a part of Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld" called "Galop infernal"—better known as "the cancan."(Shilovsky is now 13 and still playing percussion.)

9. A little girl asked L.A. County Animal Control for approval to keep a unicorn in her yard. They responded with an official unicorn license and more.

Click the arrows to scroll all the way through. Absolutely delightful response to an adorable young citizen.

10. May we all be as joyful about the weather as Albert the camel is when seeing snow for the first time.

@ranchograndeojai

Snow camel walks with the goats #ranchograndeojai #ranchoojai #ojai ##ranch #camel #goats #snowdrop

Didn't even know a camel could hippity hop like that. Yay, Albert.

Hope you found some smiles here! Come back next week for more! (And if you'd like to get these posts delivered to your inbox so you never miss them, join our free Upworthiest newsletter here.)

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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Demetri Manabat's "Barbie" poem makes a powerful statement.

Usually, when you hear a man say he doesn't want his son to play with dolls, you have a pretty good idea of what beliefs sit beneath the sentiment. It's not unreasonable to assume that some combination of misogyny, homophobia and problematic ideas about masculinity are at play in such an attitude.

That's why an unexpected turn in Demetri Manabat's spoken word poem, "Barbie," caught people's attention.

Manabat referred to "Barbie" as "a poem about dolls" in the caption of a TikTok video showing him performing it on stage. He opens the poem with a provocative statement: "My sons will never play with dolls. In fact, I refuse to let my sons play with dolls."

He goes on to explain that if he ever catches his son with a Barbie or a Bratz doll or a Polly Pocket or Cabbage Patch, he would set them straight, "knowing that's not how God intended" for men to act.

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A 6-year-old asks ​Neil DeGrasse Tyson an adorable question. He gives her an awesome answer.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." — Albert Einstein

Neil DeGrasse Tyson at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

I recently spent some time with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's known not only for breaking down stereotypes about what kinds of people go into science, but he has actively stood up and spoken against those who would close its doors, especially to young women.

So when Neil was asked this question by a little girl during a public speech, he gave one of the best answers I've ever heard. It may drive some parents crazy, but it also might just help change the world.

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Canva, @melissamesser/TikTok

Postpartum can be a challenging time. Extra support goes a long way

Bringing a baby into the world can be a dream come true for many women. But that bliss is quickly compromised by the physical and emotional toll caused by the postpartum phase.

During this time, when hormones are raging and focus is compromised and energy is practically nonexistent—all while trying to recover from extreme physical transformations and keeping a newborn alive—having partner support is more important than ever.

That’s what makes one woman’s detailed list of things husbands (or just the partner who didn’t not deliver the baby, really) can do to help support mom moms through postpartum such an important read.

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Arjun Mahadevan's life pro tip Twitter thread

Arjun Mahadevan gave the world a gift when he crowdsourced the best “life pro tips” from nearly 22 million people. He shared the top 20 in a Twitter thread that’s got over 619,000 views. Mahadevan sourced the tips from the Life Pro Tips subforum on Reddit, which has been running since 2010.

Mahadevan is the CEO of doolaHQ which he calls the “business-in-a-box” for LLCs.

Mahadevan labeled his advice “20 life tips you wish you knew when you were 20,” but they are helpful for everyone regardless of age. They’re useful for anyone who is in a relationship, has a job or wants to stay sane in an aggravating world.

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@jac.rsoe8/TikTok

Some dads just get it.

There’s no shortage of stories out there showing how emotionally distant or out of touch some baby boomers can be. Younger generations are so fed up with it that they have their own catchphrase of frustration, for crying out loud.

The disconnect becomes especially visible in parenting styles. Boomers, who grew up with starkly different views on empathy, trauma and seeking help, have a reputation for being less than ideal support systems for their children when it comes to emotional issues.

But even if they often have a different way of showing it, boomer parents do have love for their children, and many try their best to be a source of comfort in some way when their kid suffers.

Occupational therapist Jacqueline (@jac.rose8) recently shared a lovely example of this by posting a video of her boomer dad helping her through a divorce in the best way he knew how.

Turns out, it was the perfect thing.

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