+
upworthy
Joy

Dad's ingenious Christmas tree trick creates pure magic for his kid

The look on her face says it all.

diy christmas tree, christmas tree pinecone
@nativeamerica_tiktok/TikTok

Creating magic for kids is the best.

There’s nothing quite like creating Christmas magic for kids. Seeing them light up at the mention of Santa, squeal with glee at Elf on a Shelf antics, look with pure awe and wonder at all the sights and sounds of the season…it all helps rekindle that inner child spark that tends to fade as we grow older. It’s one of the many things that makes being a parent so rewarding.

In an effort to create a little extra holiday whimsy for his daughter, a father named Chinook used his natural storytelling skills to make a unique tradition—all involving a pinecone and the magic of the moon.


According to the story Chinook tells his daughter, which he aptly titled “The Moon and its Magic Spell”/ “The Little Pinecone,” the moon transforms a small pinecone into a large Christmas tree overnight, so long as it’s taken care of during the day.

In a video posted to TikTok, we see Chinook’s incredibly adorable daughter, Luna, decorating the pinecone with Christmas lights and placing it in water before heading off to bed.

When Luna wakes up the next morning, seeing her pinecone-turned-Christmas tree, full of twinkling lights and festive decorations, she’s completely mesmerized. All thanks to the efforts of her dad.

Watch:

@nativeamerican_tiktok “ The Moon and its magic spell”( Little Pine Cone ). I am a storyteller and I created this story for my daughter Luna🌜. Enjoy it and if you love my story, please share to support my art 🙏🏻💫 #storyteller #native #fyp #magic #moon #christmas #foryou ♬ suono originale - Chinook

Chinook’s creative tradition left millions of viewers moved—even inspired to take on the tradition themselves.

“In a world where magic is dying, this is everything. To more magic moonlight and pine cones!” one person wrote.

“What a beautiful treasured memory for her to pass on,” echoed another.

Still another person gushed, “Ohhh my goodness. I will now do this with my future children. Go on a walk to get our Christmas tree pinecone.”

Another added how it’s a great way to teach kids “how to care for, love and appreciate nature.”

One viewer noted how the this little story of a magic moon would help Chinnook’s daughter “grow into knowing how magical she is,” since Luna is spanish for “moon.”

Several folks are calling for this wonderful tale to be spun into a children’s book. Which, I mean, can’t you see this book gracing the shelves at Barnes & Noble? I mean c’mon.

Either way, it looks like “The Little Pinecone” is making its way into more people’s traditions, and along with it some childlike wonder.

It’s also a beautiful glimpse into the integral role storytelling plays in Indigenous cultures. Even now, they continue to connect generations, provide valuable lessons, and share a certain kind of wisdom you can’t simply Google. It’s so lovely to see.

True

Do you ever feel like you could be doing more when it comes to making a positive impact on your community? The messaging around giving back is louder than ever this time of year, and for good reason; It is the season of giving, after all.

If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

In his current role as a Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager and environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Joshua Williard oversees the cleanup of some of America’s most contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

Courtesy of Joshua Williard

“Recently, I was part of a four-person diving team sent to collect contaminated sediment samples from the bottom of a river in Southeastern Virginia. We wanted to ensure a containment wall was successfully blocking the release of waste into an adjacent river,” Williard says.

Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

“I’ve been inspired by the natural world from a young age and always loved being outside. As I gained an understanding about Earth's trajectory, I realized that I wanted to be part of trying to save it and keep it for future generations.

“I learned the importance of using different management styles to address various project challenges. I saw the value in building meaningful relationships with key community members. I came to see that effective project management can make a real difference in getting things done and having on-the-ground impact,” Williard says.

In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

“Throughout my journey, I've discovered a deep passion for project management's ability to unite people for shared goals, contributing meaningfully to environmental conservation,” she says.

With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.

Keep ReadingShow less

The young Mealy family was blown away by the instant kindness of their new neighbors.

If you're looking for a reminder of the good in people, we've got some sweet evidence for you.

Madison Mealy and her husband Blake recently moved to a rural area in the Blue Ridge Mountains and are new to country living. Mealy shared a video on TikTok showing her husband mowing the lawn with their baby in a backpack.

Cute, right? The only problem is they have a humongous lawn and her husband was mowing it with the teeniest push mower.

To be fair, if you've never had a big lawn, you may not realize how long it takes to mow and that not all lawn mowers are created equal. (They make riding lawn mowers for a reason, and it's not because of laziness.)

Mealy shared her amusement at having sent her husband out to buy a mower and seeing him come back with the tiny mower. It was going to take him hours to mow their grass.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Interesting video explains why people looked a lot older in the past than they do today

Were people unhealthy? Did they spend too much time in the sun?

Norm was only in his 30s?

Ever look at your parents' high school yearbooks and think people looked so much older back then? All of the teenagers look like they’re in their mid-30s and the teachers who are 50 look like they’re 80.

When we watch older movies, even those from the 1980s, the teenagers appear to be a lot older as well.

Why is it that they looked so much older? Was life harder? Did people act more mature? Did they spend more time outdoors and less time playing video games? Is it their sense of fashion? Were they all smokers?

Keep ReadingShow less

Fabrizio Villari Moroni shares his story of getting apprached by scammers

Tourists often fall prey to scams, hustles, and pickpockets in major cities because they don’t know the local customs or language and may be too trusting. They’re easy marks for experienced scammers, so everyone should take precautions while travelling abroad no matter how street-smart they think they are.

Fabrizio Villari Moroni, who goes by describes himself as the “Italian in Paris,” recently fell victim to the “Friendship Bracelet Scam” at the Montmartre stairs in Paris, France and he took to TikTok to warn other tourists visiting the City of Light.

“I see this man coming up to me and it was very intimidating because he was a very big, tall man. He came to me and he said: ‘Take it, take it.’ And I was like ‘No, thank you. No, thank you. No, thank you.’ Until he grabs my arm aggressively, like, it hurt me,” Moroni said in a video that has received over 800,000 views.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Reusable cloth Christmas bags are all the rage, saving wrapping time, money and the planet

They're also way cozier than the 2 million pounds of wrapping paper that ends up in landfills every year.

People are moving to cloth gift bags as a lot of wrapping paper can't be recycled.

Wrapping paper is a delightful invention, with all of its fun patterns and colors and wrapping methods, all in service of keeping gifts a surprise.

It's also a total environmental blight, unfortunately. Most wrapping paper is one-time use only, as what makes it pretty and shiny and durable are usually plastics that can't be separated from the paper for recycling. So into the landfill it goes, to the tune of 2.3 million pounds a year, according to Popular Science.

You can try to reuse wrapping paper, of course, but have you ever seen a kid tear into a Christmas present? You can try wrapping with simple brown paper, which is recyclable, but doesn't feel particularly festive. You could buy eco-friendly wrapping paper, shelling out a pretty penny for something that's still going to have to be purchased again and again.

OR you can go a whole new route by ditching the paper altogether and going for the truly old-fashioned, easy peasy solution of cloth gift bags that you either purchase or make yourself. If you think that sounds like a bit of a stretch, hold the judgment until you see how utterly adorable these bags are.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Mother of 7 stunned to learn the ‘Alphabet Song’ has been changed to get with the times

There's a good reason for the update. But it's jarring, to say the least.

Jessica Skube can't believe that they changed the 'Alphabet Song.'

The oldest published version of the melody to the “Alphabet Song” was in 1761. However, because it’s the same melody as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” it's hard to trace it to its original composer.

The “Alphabet Song” is so deeply entrenched in American culture that it almost seems sacrilegious to change a piece of music that’s one of the first most of us ever learned. But after all these years, some educators are altering the classic melody so that there is a variation when the letters L-M-N-O-P are sung.

This change shocked popular TikTokker Jessica Skube, who documents life raising 7 children with her 2.6 million followers. Nearly 10 million people have watched her video revealing the significant change, and it’s received over 56,000 comments since first being published in late 2020.

Keep ReadingShow less