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How a frequent flier's viral post saved Christmas for this father and son.

'I would give anything for him. And I never want him to feel a hole in his life where his father should be.'

Quentin Seyssel has only seen his 5-year-old son, Aiden, four times this year.

Aiden and his mom have been living with her parents in California since March 2015, although she and Quentin didn't officially get divorced until this past summer. Being away from his son is hard, especially since Aiden is on the autism spectrum and has only recently begun to communicate with purpose.

Photo by Quentin Seyssel, used with permission.


Due to financial constraints, Quentin lives a humble life in Colorado and sends as much money as he can to his son every month.

The physical distance between them is difficult, especially this year, because it's the first Christmas the two would've spent apart.

The two communicate most frequently via Skype, but it presents challenges, Quentin explains. "Within the last year, [Aiden] has gotten a lot more used to initiating play and will bring you a puppet to use and mimic a conversation with."

That's not something he can do over Skype.

Photo by Quentin Seyssel, used with permission.

Though Quentin tries to ask his son questions and engage with him on their calls, he is often left watching Aiden play quietly.

While Quentin would love to see his son in person, "it is financially difficult," he writes. This year, even though he does have holiday time off work, he cannot afford the round-trip ticket.

In a last-ditch effort, Quentin responded to a post online in which a man named Peter Shankman was offering to use his extra airline miles to help people who needed them to get home for the holidays.

In his job as a marketing consultant, Shankman has racked up a significant number of airline miles. For the past four years, he's been gifting them to people — like Quentin — who can't afford trips to see their loved ones around the holidays.

Photo by Peter Shankman, used with permission.

"I get to travel to talk for a living and get paid for it," explains Shankman in an email. "I don't know how much luckier I could be. How could I possibly live in a world that gives me all of that happiness and not find a way to give back?"

So every year, Shankman sets up a post on image-hosting website Imgur asking users to share their story in the Home for the Holidays category. The people whose stories receive the most upvotes from other users get a ticket home with Shankman's miles.

Shankman traveling with his own daughter. Photo by Peter Shankman, used with permission.

This year, Shankman was joined by generous travelers who donated their own miles to the cause, helping to send 10 people home for the holidays.One is a teacher with a rare eye disease who will get to visit her family after years apart; another is an Air Force pilot with HIV who will be able to go home and make amends with his estranged family.

In response to Quentin's story, several other users stepped in, offering to pay for his flight home to Aiden.

Quentin decided to take one of those offers, so that Shankman could use his miles for someone else in need. "He seemed genuine, kind, and never asked for anything in return," writes Quentin of the user whose offer he accepted. "Only the promise to pay it forward."

Photo by Quentin Seyssel. Used with permission.

Quentin wrestled with feeling worthy of the free trip home and thinking about how many others might be more deserving — but then he thought about Aiden.

Photo by Quentin Seyssel, used with permission.

Quentin knows Aiden needs his father around, especially at this crucial stage of development in his life. He's making plans to move to California so they can spend more time together. Until then, he's been writing letters to Aiden every year on his birthday and plans to give them all to Aiden when he turns 21.

"I would give anything for [Aiden]," Quentin writes. "I never want him to feel a hole in his life where his father should be."

Thanks to the generosity of a stranger on the internet, this year's letter will be filled with some extra joy and humility — "a highlight of memories and hope," he says — and memories of a visit home for the holidays.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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