+

Hello and welcome to Day 1 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories we hope will bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year for a lot of us, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of happiness? Check back tomorrow for another installment!

What better way to kick things off here than with the unifying power of puppies and kittens (and occasionally piglets)? We promised you smiles and joy, andthese adorable creatures more than deliver.


Founded by Tina Marie Lythgoe, Josh and His Critters is a California-based animal rescue and rehab group with a focus on rescuing animals that got a rough start in life. There are a lot of cute animal accounts on social media, but following J&HC on social media is special kind of delight, with Lythgoe narrating the day-to-day lives of whichever animals are currently in her care.

"Our mission is to save as many animals as possible," Lythgoe wrote on the J&HC website. "Even the ones that people consider pests."

I'm particularly fond of Jamison, the Australian Shepherd with a cleft palate taken in by Lythgoe when he was just a tiny pup.

Look! So cute:

Jamison 11 days old today! Happy Easter!! #cleftpalate #baby

A post shared by Tina Marie Lythgoe (@joshandhiscritters) on

I'm so proud of Jameson! We fought like hell and we won!! #cleftpalate #nevergiveup #australianshepherd

A post shared by Tina Marie Lythgoe (@joshandhiscritters) on

Oh Jamison the struggle was real! But soooooo worth it!!! Look at you now big boy!! You look amazing!! I miss taking...

Posted by Josh and his critters on Monday, August 21, 2017

See? Toldja we'd make you smile.

For more cuteness guaranteed to bring a smile or two to your face this holiday season, follow Josh and His Critters on Instagram and Facebook.

More days of happiness here: [DAY 1] / DAY 2 / DAY 3 / DAY 4 / DAY 5/ DAY 6 / DAY 7 / DAY 8 / DAY 9 / DAY 10 / DAY 11 / DAY 12 / DAY 13 / DAY 14 / DAY 15 / DAY 16 / DAY 17/ DAY 18 / DAY 19 / DAY 20 / DAY 21 / DAY 22 / DAY 23 / DAY 24 / DAY 25 / DAY 26 / DAY 27 / DAY 28 / DAY 29 / DAY 30 / DAY 31
Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75.

Lynch is part of a growing crowd of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory.

At first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

A man told me gun laws would create more 'soft targets.' He summed up the whole problem.

As far as I know, there are only two places in the world where people living their lives are referred to as 'soft targets.'

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Only in America are kids in classrooms referred to as "soft targets."

On the Fourth of July, a gunman opened fire at a parade in quaint Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people, injuring dozens and traumatizing (once again) an entire nation.

My family member who was at the parade was able to flee to safety, but the trauma of what she experienced will linger. For the toddler with the blood-soaked sock, carried to safety by a stranger after being pulled from under his father's bullet-torn body, life will never be the same.

There's a phrase I keep seeing in debates over gun violence, one that I can't seem to shake from my mind. After the Uvalde school shooting, I shared my thoughts on why arming teachers is a bad idea, and a gentleman responded with this brief comment:

"Way to create more soft targets."

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

Keep ReadingShow less