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Families don't look like they used to. And these heartwarming stories prove that's a great thing.

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Tylenol

This time of year is all about family.

The one you were raised in, the one you chose for yourself, or the one that chose you. There's nothing better than spending time with the people you love, especially when you're surrounded by twinkling lights, rich desserts, and so. many. hugs.



All GIFs via Tylenol/YouTube.

But the best part of family? There's no wrong way to do it.

This heartwarming video from Tylenol's #HowWeFamily campaign is a 60-second reminder that families come in all different sizes, complete with parents, aunts, cousins, stepbrothers, friends, and more.

Trust and believe, your heart is about to grow three sizes today.

(And if you're ready to go full-feels, just scroll down for a closer look at a few ordinary families with extraordinary stories.)

Family is an action word. It's a commitment to make time, and to care for one another.

The McKennas live that every day. For 17 years, stay-at-home dad Richard has managed the day-to-day whirlwind that comes with raising five children.

"It really doesn't matter who it is that's parenting you," said Mrs. McKenna. "It's a matter of love and care and concern."

Being part of a family takes patience, sacrifice, and hard work.

Like the Butlers, two parents in the armed forces who made the difficult decision to deploy at the same time, leaving their young son with his four grandparents for a full year.

While the time away was tough, the Butler children now benefit from close relationships with their six loving parents.

Not to mention a strong foundation of love and trust.

Take Lizzie Vincent, who became a mom to her nephew after her sister and brother-in-law passed away. She used cookie baking and storytelling to spark a lasting connection.


Family is home. It's where you find your place and learn what makes you you.

Like the Ekehs, who moved from Nigeria to New York a decade ago to provide their sons with new opportunities.

One son, Harold, was accepted to 13 universities last spring — including all eight Ivy League schools! But he remains humbled, driven, and filled with gratitude for his family.


"I describe my family as a body. My parents are the brain and the heart. And my brothers, we're like the hands and the feet. We all have our different functions, but we all come together to accomplish one goal."

Yes, family is all of this. But it's also fun.


Seriously, so much fun.

Every family is different and has a unique story to tell.

The American family landscape has changed dramatically throughout the course of history, but never as fast and as furious as in recent years.

These shifts are creating diverse, blended, and nontraditional families (if there ever was a tradition to begin with).

For example, in 2014, the U.S. birthrate declined for the sixth year in a row. And the number of grandparents living with or serving as primary caregivers for their own grandchildren jumped 22% from 2000 to 2011.

Cultural and political shifts have brought changes too. A 2013 report revealed 17% of same-sex couples are raising children. And same-sex couple parents and their children are more likely to be people of color or ethnic minorities.

So this season, and throughout the year, show your family some love.

Whether you came to your clan by birth, marriage, adoption, or serendipity, embrace the people you call home and take in every magical moment.

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Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

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Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

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Family

Mom’s blistering rant on how men are responsible for all unwanted pregnancies is on the nose

“ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don't believe me? Let me walk you through it."

Mom has something to say... strongly say.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are a conservative group who aren't known for being vocal about sex.

But best selling author, blogger, and mother of six, Gabrielle Blair, has kicked that stereotype to the curb with a pointed thread on reducing unwanted pregnancies. And her sights are set directly at men.

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Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.

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Science

She tattooed half her face and you'd never know it. Her skills are just that good.

This incredible medical tattoo technology is giving renewed hope to burn victims.

All images via the CBS/YouTube

Basma Hameed runs a tattoo shop, of sorts...


Meet Samira Omar.

The 17-year-old was the victim of a horrific bullying incident.

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Images via Alan Taylor/Flickr, used with permission.

Updating the kitchen.


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books?

Books from when you were a kid?

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Education

Voice recordings of people who were enslaved offer incredible first-person accounts of U.S. history

"The results of these digitally enhanced recordings are arresting, almost unbelievable. The idea of hearing the voices of actual slaves from the plantations of the Old South is as powerful—as startling, really—as if you could hear Abraham Lincoln or Robert E. Lee speak." - Ted Koppel

Library of Congress

When we think about the era of American slavery, many of us tend to think of it as the far distant past. While slavery doesn't exist as a formal institution today, there are people living who knew formerly enslaved black Americans first-hand. In the wide arc of history, the legal enslavement of people on U.S. soil is a recent occurrence—so recent, in fact, that we have voice recordings of interviews with people who lived it.

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