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A ‘Late Show’ writer offers a hilarious new take on the story of Santa.

A fresh take on Santa's life at home has a devoted fanbase.

A ‘Late Show’ writer offers a hilarious new take on the story of Santa.

Like all great literary works these days, "Santa's Husband" started out as a joke on Twitter.

The year was 2016, and racists were responding ridiculously over the fact that for four days, one of the Santas at the Mall of America would be *gasp* black. Responding to the outrage on Twitter, "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" writer Daniel Kibblesmith joked that he and his wife, author Jennifer Ashley Wright, will teach their future children that Santa is black ... and gay (just for good measure).

Illustrator AP Quach saw the tweet, pitched Kibblesmith on it as a children's book, and almost a year later, "Santa's Husband" is available for purchase in bookstores near you. The book itself tells the story of the home life of Santa (who, again, is black) and his husband (who is white, but often gets mistaken for Santa when he goes to help his husband out at mall appearances).


Here it is! The Twitter thread that started it all. Image from Twitter.

What began as a way to troll the Megyn Kellys of the world has become a really cute book with a pretty dedicated fanbase.

Sure, it still made some people pretty angry — like the person on Twitter who was upset that "[Tim Allen] did NOT OK this book" and they demanded that Kibblesmith "leave Santa ALONE," or another person who wanted to know, "Where is the respect for tradition? The ideology of gender is going to [sic] far!"

If you ask Kibblesmith about it, however, he'll tell you that there have been some pretty heartwarming and positive reactions as well.

Kibblesmith and Quach. Images courtesy of Daniel Kibblesmith.

In an email, Kibblesmith recounts one of the more heartwarming receptions the book received on video from a two-mom household and their toddler walking through a Target. "Looking at a coffee mug shaped like a traditional white Santa Claus, they ask [their daughter], 'Who's this?' and she says, 'It's Santa's husband!'" he writes.

"We also got an incredibly kind note from the chef and author Michael Twitty, who is black, gay, Jewish, and has a white partner," continues Kibblesmith. "They're gifting the book to his partner's one-year-old nephew this year, and it's inspiring that this child will grow up with a much bigger view of the world and the people in it."

The only thing better than milk and cookies is sharing them with the one you love. Illustration by AP Quach.

The goal of the book was to go beyond just trolling for angry responses, Kibblesmith stresses. The book could have easily been "a dashed-off, one-joke reaction to someone else's knee-jerk reaction," but he really wanted to write something that put a little happiness into the world, to add positive value, and to craft something heartfelt and sentimental.

"Our book stands alone as a complete, funny, heartwarming Christmas story, totally agnostic of any specific 'War on Christmas' talking points, and I think that's what makes it work."

Just like regular couples, Mr. and Mr. Claus have their fair share of arguments. Illustration by AP Quach.

In a way, "Santa's Husband" helps highlight the best parts of Christmas and all other December celebrations.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, or something else entirely, the end of the year is a great time to reflect on who we are, what our values are, and what we can do to bring joy to friends and loved ones in the new year. Maybe "Santa's Husband" isn't your thing, and that's totally cool. For some people, however — such as the joyful girl with her moms in Target — this book gives them a sense of warmth and joy.

Isn't that what the holidays are really all about?

People can order "Santa's Husband" from Harper Collins. For more information, follow @Kibblesmith on Twitter.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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