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10 things that made us smile this week

uplifting, happy, joy

Need a reason to smile? Here are 10 of them.

Holy moly, it's already almost Christmas, which means it's already almost 2022, which means we're heading into our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's … I don't know, but it's something.

It's easy to get bogged down in the sucky parts of pandemic life, but as we reflect on this year, there's a lot to be grateful for. For instance, it was announced that malaria was officially eliminated in China in June, Europe sold more electric vehicles than diesel for the first time ever in August and we found out that cheese isn't actually bad for us in February (seriously, science says).


As always, we can find reasons to smile—we just need to know where to look. And right now, you can look straight down this page to find 10 delightful things to bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face as you head into the holiday.

Never thought about how many birds are in the 12 days of Christmas song. LOL.

Six geese a-laying, no less. So, in protective mama mode. Not exactly the best gift, to be honest.

Seriously, though, what is with all the birds in that song? Is that all people had to give in the olden days?

Ms. Fitz makes a wicked 3-point shot on the playground and the kids go wild. 

She did promise them hot cocoa if she made the shot, but knowing how much kids love teachers like this, I'm sure their reaction was much more about celebrating her awesome skills. Go, Ms. Fitz, go!

Watching dogs pick out their presents on Santa Paws Day is too much joy to handle. 

Come on now. Is this the best or what?

This baby blissing out on her first bite of pizza is all of us. 

@oh_shoot_girl

Same girl, same. 🍕 #firstbite #fyp #pizzababy

We've all been to pizza heaven, little one. And yep, it's just like that.

This dog races a human on a sled and goes soooo hard. 

@chuckledaily

#fyp #funny #dogs #dogsvideo #dogsofttiktok #funnyvideos

This is a serious race, folks. Look how he speeds up as the sled starts to overtake him! Amazing.

Halftime dancer lives a 20-second nightmare, which then becomes a dream come true.

She got so lost! The vicarious embarrassment was too real! But then it turned into such a sweet moment and all of that anxiety vanished. Phew! Read the full story here.

Soon-to-be-uncle thinks the baby onesie is a gift for the cat, totally missing the hint. 

This would be an adorable reaction even if the onesie were for the cat. The fact that he doesn't catch that there's a baby on the way just adds a layer of hilarity to it.

Baby elephants can't control their trunks and it is hilarioussssss.

It's true. They start gaining some control around 6 to 8 months, but don't gain full control until about year. Learn more and watch other baby elephants trying to figure out that long, dangly thing on their faces here.

Speaking of elephants … watch (and listen to) these gorgeous giants come running when their caretaker calls.

Definitely want the sound on for this one. (This video comes from the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, where elephants are rescued from abusive elephant tourism and rehabilitated with plenty of space to roam.)

Uber driver left her full-time job to become a caregiver for her 88-year-old passenger.

Jenni Tekletsion first picked up Paul Webb for an Uber ride in March 2020. The two got to talking and she realized how lonely he was. They enjoyed one another's company and began sharing a meal together each day. As Webb's health began to decline, Tekletsion graciously took on the role of caregiver for him. Read the full story here.

Hope that brought some light and happiness to your day! Have a lovely holiday weekend!

Joy

Thousands of women share image of Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh with a powerful message

'De-condition and unlearn what you’ve been wired to think: that women are your competition.'

Jamie Lee Curtis celebrating Michelle Yeoh's Golden Globes win was an empowering moment for all women.

The 2023 Golden Globe Awards was an incredible night for Michelle Yeoh. The 60-year-old actress had waited 40 years to play the lead in a Hollywood film, and winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for her starring role in "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was a dream come true.

Yeoh's moment in the spotlight made headlines that night as her award speech went viral. But following the ceremony, another moment went viral—the split second Yeoh's name was called as the winner and the reaction of her co-star, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Curtis herself had been nominated for the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the film but didn't win. (That award went to Angela Bassett in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.") But whatever disappointment Curtis may have felt about not winning her own award did not diminish her response to Yeoh's win, which was immediate, intense and immensely joyful.

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William Shakespeare and Lavern Spicer.

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Gen X advice for Gen Z: Woman shares the things she wishes 'somebody told me in my twenties’

'You date people you think you deserve. You deserve better.'

Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

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Artist creates stunning—but temporary—wildlife portraits with natural, foraged materials

Hannah Bullen-Ryner uses just nature and her hands to make creatures that are meant to blow away.

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Some people create art as a way of immortalizing a piece of themselves, to leave behind some creative evidence of their existence and communicate through their art long after they are gone. But what of those who create art that isn't meant to last?

Hannah Bullen-Ryner, a full-time mother to twins, walks to the woodlands and fields about 10 minutes from her flat in Hertfordshire, England, each day as a ritual. She sits immersed in nature, in all kinds of weather, and creates whatever creature decides to "visit" her out of whatever natural items she can forage.

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Pop Culture

Disneyland unveils major changes happening to the park, including lower ticket prices

The announcement follows Bob Iger's return to his role as Disney CEO.

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

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Let’s face it. Disneyland might have once been dubbed “the happiest place on Earth,” but over the years that title has lost its merit. Complaints about cheapened experiences are common—from huge crowds, to broken-down rides and even foul smells. This, combined with insanely high ticket prices, has made guests feel like the Disney magic has dimmed.

However, it seems that Disney might be helping the wish for a better park come true, as it just announced several positive updates happening to its resorts in 2023.

One of the biggest changes will be more days available to purchase low-tier tickets at $104. Folks should be seeing nearly two months worth of these low-cost ticket days.

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Cate Blanchett uses her award acceptance speech to call for abolishing televised awards

“I would love it if we would just change this whole f**king structure.”

Twitter

“I would love it if we would just change this whole f**king structure.”

Cate Blanchett might be taking home awards for her portrayal of a disgraced composer and titular character in the film “Tár.” But if she had it her way, there wouldn’t be an award to take home. While delivering her “Best Actress” acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards, Blanchett challenged the need for awards shows, calling them “televised horse races.”

She didn’t mince words. “I would love it if we would just change this whole fucking structure.”

“Why don't we just say there was a whole raft of female performances that are in concert and in dialogue with one another?” she said to the audience, celebrating the “extraordinary” performances by her fellow nominees — Viola Davis, Danielle Deadwyler, Margot Robbie, Michelle Williams and Michelle Yeoh.

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