Thanks for stopping by for Day 17 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 we hope will bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year for a lot of us, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of happiness? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

GIF via "Parks & Recreation."

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Heroes

All it takes to get in a festive mood is a sprinkling of snow and a soft hill to sled — or even roll — down.

Just ask MeiXiang, an adorable 19-year-old giant panda.

GIF via The National Zoo.

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Why it's illegal for some Christian bakers to refuse to bake gay wedding cakes. Explained.

A funny, concise three-minute explainer video about gay wedding cakes and the law.

Say, hypothetically, you go to a bakery to order your wedding cake.

Imagine you are Christian. And the bakery specializes in wedding cakes. Particularly satanic wedding cakes, but they make them for atheist and Buddhist weddings too, on occasion. And you happen to love the way their devil's food cake tastes, and you'd like them to make one for your Christian wedding. And then the satanic baker says, "I'm sorry, but it's against my beliefs to make a wedding cake for Christian weddings. Good day! Hail Satan!"

You'd be upset, right? (Along with being confused with the whole "Hail Satan" thing.)

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Jocelyn Stevenson's first granddaughter, Ismay, was born last year.

"I was completely stunned by the impact it had one me," she said in an email. "Being a grandma rocks!"

But Ismay lives in Boston. And while Stevenson was able to be there for Ismay's first month or so, she eventually had to go back home to the United Kingdom, thousands of miles and an ocean away.

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