Cassie Gretschel and her little brother, Max, have a wonderful Christmas tradition.

All photos by Cassie Gretschel used with permission

Gretschel says Max, who is 25, has severe mental and physical disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy and scoliosis. She writes that his brain development is on par with a 5-year-old, and that he has impaired vision and spends most of his time in a wheelchair.

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Forget the mannequin challenge. Try the empathy challenge this holiday season.

31 small ways to make a positive difference in the world.

In many ways, we are the center of our own worlds.

We see things through the lens of our own experiences, our own communities, the things we read, and the people we interact with. But the world is so much bigger than what we've seen. It's so much more diverse than our own experiences.

It's impossible to know and understand everything, but we can do our best to empathize. Even the tiniest effort on our parts can make someone else feel heard and appreciated, brightening their day.  

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We all have brushes with self-doubt. Hey, we're human.

And this time of year can be especially challenging in the confidence department. 'Tis the season for rich foods, fancy parties, and family members you haven't seen in months. It's easy to get bogged down in worry, judgment, comparison, and doubt.

One way to stay positive during the holidays is to incorporate mantras and affirmations into your routine.

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