+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy

kindness

Family

Mom finds brilliant way to tell her kids the 'truth' about Santa and other parents take notes

If you're a parent struggling how to break the news, this might help.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

How to tell your kids the truth about Santa.

"It's the mooost wonderful tiiiiime of the — OH NO, did Charlie just ask if Santa is real?!"

If you're a parent in a household that celebrates Christmas, you can likely relate to the dreaded Santa Claus conversation. It may come with tears, it may come with tantrums, and it may even be worse for you, seeing that heart-wrenching look of disappointment spread across your child's once-merry face.


It's a dilemma Charity Hutchinson of British Columbia was pondering, as a mom to two young boys and the two nephews she cares for as well.

family, advice, truth for kids

Hutchinson family and the truth about Santa.

Photo by Theresa Easter Photography.

One of Hutchinson's nephews raised the notorious question, telling her he no longer believed in Santa Claus.

"I felt sad because he seemed disappointed telling me his news," she explained in a message. "And in that moment I didn't know what to say to him."

Hutchinson soon stumbled upon some advice online, finding what she described as “by far the best idea I’ve seen about telling your kids about Santa."

The idea of Santa may seem frivolous to many adults, but to believe in something much bigger than yourself, only to learn you've been lied to by the people you trust most in the world? That can be a really big deal to a kid (and can possibly even create long-term trust issues for them, as one study found). The Santa conversation is one many parents understandably want to get right.

So when Hutchinson saw one of her friends on Facebook share an anonymous post detailing a strategy for breaking the news to your kids without disappointing them, she was thrilled.

Hutchinson loved the idea so much, she shared it on Facebook as well:

This is by far the best idea I've seen about telling your kids about Santa. Had to share! *********"In our family, we...
Posted by Charity Hutchinson on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This is how it works:

1. Find a time to take your kid out, one-on-one, to a favorite spot and deliver the great news: The time has come for them to become a Santa.

"When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready. I take them out 'for coffee' at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks, and the following pronouncement is made: 'You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too.'"

The post suggests pointing to a few different examples of how your kid has shown empathy or done something nice for another person throughout the past year. Let them know it was in those moments they proved themselves worthy of finally "becoming a Santa" themselves.

2. Assure your kid that they're ready to become a Santa because they understand the true meaning of giving (it's not just about the milk and cookies).

"You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE."

Get them talking about all the reasons they think Santa's the best. They may start out by pointing to his sleigh-riding skills or the fact he can go around the whole world in just one night. But move the conversation toward Santa being not so much of a cool person, but a cool concept that's focused on giving. Handing out presents makes the spirit of Santa a spectacular thing. Because your kid understands why giving back matters too, it's time they become a Santa themselves.

Also, "make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone," the post notes.

3. Now that they're in on the secret, have them choose someone who could really use a great gift and devise a plan to give it away — secretly, of course.

"We then have the child choose someone they know — a neighbor, usually. The child's mission is to secretly, deviously, find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it — and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn't about getting credit, you see. It's unselfish giving."

In the original post, the writer explains that their oldest child decided to buy a gift for a neighbor who always walked out to get the newspaper without her shoes on. Their son spied on the neighbor one day from the bushes to estimate her shoe size — he predicted she wore mediums — and then slipped a pair of slippers under her driveway gate one evening with a note "from Santa." The following morning, the neighbor was spotted wearing the slippers. Their son was ecstatic.

4. Remind them that being a Santa is top-secret business. And that, next year, they can carry on with their selfless Santa duties once again.

"I had to remind him that NO ONE could ever know what he did or he wouldn't be a Santa. Over the years, he chose a good number of targets, always coming up with a unique present just for them."

One year, for instance, he polished up a bike for a family friend's daughters. The writer's son was just as over the moon about giving the gift as the daughters were about receiving it.

In a little over a week, Hutchinson's post has racked up thousands of Likes and shares, with plenty of thankful parents chiming in in the comments.

"I never imagined it would be so popular!" Hutchinson explains. "I mean, it felt special when I read it and completely gave me goosebumps, but I didn't realize it would go this far."

Where the original post came from is still somewhat of a mystery. As The Huffington Post reported, it seems to have first cropped up in 2007 in an online forum. Ever since, the idea has floated around the web here and there, but has only made waves recently with Hutchinson's post going viral.

The secret of being a Santa, so to speak, has already worked its holiday magic on Hutchinson's once-suspicious nephew.

Filling him in on becoming a Santa was an instant game-changer, she says.

"His eyes lit right up," she writes. "That excitement and joy returned to him and he couldn't stop asking me questions! ... Instantly I could see the wheels were turning and he started planning who his special target would be and what he would get them and how he'd pull it off."

Hutchinson is happy her simple Facebook post has turned into something so special. "It isn't just a nice way to break the news to your kids," she writes. "But it really teaches them about the true meaning of Christmas and how you should always give to others."


This article originally appeared on 12.09.16

Joy

Two awesome strangers brought gifts for a newborn baby after receiving a misdirected text

A text directed to the wrong person brought two families together in a very heartwarming way.

via Deorick Williams/Facebook

Mark and Lindsey Lashley welcome their child with new friends.


What happens when the proudest moment of a parent's life is also the strangest?

Just ask Mark and Lindsey Lashley from Georgia.

On March 19, they welcomed their first child Cason, a healthy baby boy, into the world. Nothing out of the ordinary there.


Then Cason's grandmother decided to send a text to family members about her newest bundle of joy. Again, nothing unusual there either.

But when that text went to a stranger named Dennis Williams, and he decided to join in on the celebration, things became even more interesting. Check out the exchange below.

friendship, kindness, family, inspirational, comedy, babies

The group text that started it all.

Photo from Deorick Williams's Facebook page.

And just like that, the Williams brothers arrived at the hospital with gifts and well-wishes for the new mom and dad.

The following note from the Lashley family was posted on Williams' Facebook page praising the brothers' kindness and generosity for providing a small token to a family they didn't even know a few hours beforehand.

The best sentiment from the Lashleys:

"If we all only had this kind of heart.”

This hilarious and heartwarming story is going viral for all the right reasons.

Plenty of stats and polls point to a depressing truth: Our world is becoming more and more divided by racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural lines.

But it's easy to forget just how far we've come:

Two random black dudes showed up in the hospital room of a white family to provide gifts and love to their newborn baby, and the Internet universally loved it. That, in itself, is an epic feat.

These families will be connected forever due to a random act of kindness that warmed the hearts of millions.

Not to mention, when baby Cason grows up, his parents will have one amazing birth story to share with him.

But first, let's share this great story with everyone who needs a smile.


This article was originally published on 3.22.16


Photo by Katerina Holmes|Canva

Mom in tears after another parent calls about daughter's lunch


People say having children is like having your heart walk around outside of your body. You send them off to school, practices or playdates and hope that the world treats them kindly because when they hurt, you hurt. Inevitably there will be times when your child's feelings are hurt so you do your best to prepare for that day.

But what prepares you for when the child you love so much winds up accidentally healing your inner child. A mom on TikTok, who goes by Soogia posted a video explaining a phone call she received from a parent in her daughter's classroom. The mom called to inform Soogia that their kids had been sharing lunch with each other.

Soogia wasn't prepared for what came next. The classmate's mother informed her that her son loves the food Soogia's daughter brings to school and wanted to learn how to cook it too.


That may seem like a small thing to some, but the small gesture healed a little bit of Soogia's inner child. Growing up as a Korean kid in California, Soogia's experience was a bit different than what her children are now experiencing.

"I guess I just never thought that my kids would be the generation of kids that could go to school and not only just proudly eat, but share their food with other kids that were just so open and accepting to it," Soogia says through tears. "Knowing that they don't sit there eating their food, feeling ashamed and wishing that their fried rice was a bagel instead or something like that. And I know, it sounds so small and it sounds so stupid, but knowing their experience at school is so different from mine in such a positive way is just so hopeful."

Soogia's tearful video pulled on the heartstrings of her viewers who shared their thoughts in the comments.

"Soogia! It will never be small. Your culture is beautiful & the littles are seeing that every day. You've even taught me so much. I'm grateful for you," one person says.

"Beautiful! I can see your inner child healing in so many ways," another writes.

"Welp. Now I'm sobbing at the airport. This is beautiful," someone reveals.

"These Gen Alpha babies really are a different, kinder generation. I love them so much," one commenter gushes.

You can hear the entire story below. You may want to grab a tissue.

@soogia1

These kids, man. They’re really something else. #culturalappreciation #breakingbread #sharing #

This article originally appeared on 3.23.24

Joy

Wholesome exchange between a Black woman a white man is giving people faith in humanity

A woman named Jo'lee Shine expected the worst when a white man approached her overheated vehicle, but his kindness brought her to tears.

@realbillygotti/Instagram

We need more moments like these.


Of course, racism and hatred are very real issues, and ones that we must discuss in order to make progress. But with all the coverage of people behaving badly flooding our awareness through the media and online, it can be easy to write-off humanity entirely. To believe that the world is inherently a divisive, dangerous and ultimately declining place to live. When in reality, not everything is so bleak.

That’s what makes sharing this story so important.

A Black woman named Jo'lee Shine was stuck in her overheated car in front of a stranger's house, waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

When a white man, the homeowner, began approaching her, Jo'lee immediately started recording the interaction. And thank goodness she did, because this was a moment worth immortalizing.


“I'm so sorry, my car ran hot,” she says in the clip, and begins trying to start the car to prove her situation.

And then, in the sweetest southern accent you ever heard, we hear “don’t try to crank it baby.”

When then hear him offer to put water in the car, made sure Jo'lee had coming to pick her up, and then…wait for it…asked if she wanted lunch.

"We’ll be eating lunch shortly. While we wait on [the tow truck] if we get everything set up I’ll come get you and we’ll have dinner,” he says.

This brings Jo’lee to instant tears. “That was so sweet,” she whimpers.

With a chuckle, the man replies, “that’s the way we are.” he then shared how he just had 22 people over at his house the night before for “a family gathering.”

Jo’lee declines the lunch offer, but profusely thanks the kind stranger as she wipes the tears that continue to fall. Just before he goes, the man says that he’ll check back in, joking that the tow truck “might be delayed” and she might change her mind.

In her caption, Jo’lee wrote, “I wasn’t going to post this, but I wanted people to know that they’re still good people in this world.”

Seems like that mission was accomplished. The video, which has gotten over 176,000 likes on Instagram, gave everyone a little dose of hope. Just take a look at some of these lovely comments:

“This is who we are...it sucks that movies have put fear in people to that level. That makes me sad that there's fear and division keeping us all from sharing love that I KNOW is in all of us.”

“The media works to divide us, don't believe their lies. We love all people.. God Bless.”

"I'll come get you when we get dinner on the table?!!" ❤️🩹❤️🩹❤️🩹🔥🔥🔥🔥🙌🙌”

“The way he called you baby without a mean tone in his soul.”

“This renews my faith in humanity. He tried to help her without any thought of race.”

“Just when we think humanity has died, this happens ♥️. Human kindness for the win.”

Indeed, the world has its’ Karens…and even worse characters. But it also has people who invite strangers to dinner, just because it’s a nice thing to do…because it’s the “way they are.” It’s the way a lot of us are, when we let ourselves be.


This article originally appeared on 3.23.24