What's better than a heartwarming story of holiday cheer? How about a heartwarming story that turns out to be a hilarious moment of holiday embarrassment?

When Mary Katherine Backstrom of Fort Myers, Florida, decided to do a good deed for a stranger in a gas station convenience store, she had no idea that her most embarrassing moment would result in a viral story viewed by millions.

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Despite controversial-but-compelling evidence that homework takes time away from families with little to no appreciable benefit for students, kids continue to slog through hours of school work outside the time they spend in the classroom. And despite evidence that small acts of kindness can infect a community like a positive virus, far too many kids are on either the giving or receiving end of unkind bullying on a regular basis.

Perhaps that's why an elementary school in Ireland has decided to do something radical—ditch all homework for the month of December and assign kids "acts of kindness" instead.

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dreambird/Flickr (left) Matt Hoffman/Unsplash (right)

The world can't seem to get enough of Mister Rogers, and for good reason. In an era of salacious reality television, online trolls, and non-stop political scandals, Fred Rogers remains a pure beam of light and goodness, even 16 years after his passing.

The movie "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" opened to rave reviews Thanksgiving week, and has spawned a slew of stories and articles about the beloved children's television star. But one little-known Fred Rogers story in particular seems perfectly fitting for this holiday season.

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You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not ... let Santa get the credit for the expensive toys you buy your kids for Christmas?

The holiday season — and Christmas in particular — isn't just for kids, after all. A lot of us parents get pretty excited about getting a chance to make our kids' eyes light up when they open their gifts under the tree. It's one of only a small handful of times a year where we're not just allowed, but encouraged to splurge, spoil, and spend whatever we can on them.

If you have the means to do that, that's great! Good for you.

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