Most depictions of Santa Clause fall along the traditional narrative we know and love. We see the rotund, bearded fellow making a list and checking it twice. With a twinkle in his eye, we expect him to ponder each child's behavior for the year and place them into a category—naughty or nice—to determine their deservedness in getting a gift.

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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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Thanks for stopping by Day 25 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here's the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories specifically designed to bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of laughter? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

Every so often, a vintage video resurfaces from a corner of the internet and reminds you why this life is worth living. For me, that video is Patti LaBelle performing "This Christmas" at the 1996 National Tree Lighting.

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