In today’s political atmosphere, media rarely report good news. But Christmastime can be an exception. This year’s Christmas stories reveal an 8-year-old writing hundreds of cards to nursing home residents, a young boy welcoming his military dad home, singer Michael Bublé surprising kids with Down syndrome – and much more.
Here are five heartwarming stories exemplifying the Christmas spirit in 2018:
1. Elementary Student with ‘Nothing to Give’ Gifts Her Teacher Cereal Marshmallows
On Dec. 19, Washington elementary school teacher Rachel Uretsky-Pratt shared a photo of cereal marshmallows in a Facebook post that has since gone viral – with more than 105,000 shares. That’s because they came from a young student, who otherwise had “nothing to give.”
“Today I received some chocolates, sweet handmade notes, some jewelry, but these Lucky Charm marshmallows stood out to me the most,” Uretsky-Pratt wrote of her students’ gifts on their last school day before holiday break.
She stressed that the present came from one little girl who “wanted to get m[e] something so badly, but had nothing to give.”
“So rather than give me nothing, this student opened up her free [school] breakfast cereal this morning, took the packaging of her spork, straw, and napkin, and finally took the time to take every marshmallow out of her cereal to put in a bag—for me,” Uretsky-Pratt continued. It was a big sacrifice for her student because, as the teacher told USA Today, “No one likes Lucky Charms without the marshmallows.”
She concluded: “Be grateful for what you have, and what others give you. It all truly comes from the deepest parts of their hearts.”
2. 8-Year-Old Sends 500 Cards to Those in Nursing Homes, Foster Care
Adriana Pollock of Newark, Ohio, is handwriting 500 cards for those in local nursing homes and foster care in an effort to spread “Christmas joy.”
“I thought that nursing homes and foster homes weren't having as good of Christmases as me and my sister so I thought that we should give them Christmas cards," Pollock remarked to the Newark Advocate. The third grader added, "Some people that don't have as good of Christmases don't have as much Christmas joy.”
Last year she sent 400 cards, but this year she had more time – beginning in October and working on them after school, on the weekends, and even on days off at her grandma’s house. She has some help too, from little sister Aria and from her community, which helped purchase some of the cards.
Inside, she writes messages like the following, "You might not know us but we love you."
For others who wish to do the same, local media are publicizing the addresses of a 12-year-old girl battling cancer and an 8-year-old boy suffering a terminal brain tumor after both wished that, for Christmas, Americans would send them cards.
3. Young Boy Unwraps Military Dad in Early Christmas Present
On Dec. 14, Jadin Hart from Pittsburgh tweeted a video of her nephew opening his most wished for Christmas gift – a box with his dad inside.
“My nephew got to unwrap the only Christmas gift he asked for a few days early and his reaction broke my heart,” Hart typed.
After her nephew tentatively unwrapped the large box, his dad popped out. Instead of jumping back in surprise, he clung to his dad without letting go.
“When my dad came back from serving in the gulf war I held him so tight as he walked off the coach at the base.I couldn’t let go,” Corden commented. “This brought it all back.Thoughts are with every family missing loved ones this Christmas.”
4. Kids with Down Syndrome Sign Michael Bublé Christmas Song
For Christmas 2018, Wouldn’t Change a Thing, an organization dedicated to “creating a world where negative perceptions of Down’s Syndrome are a thing of the past,” organized a video of families singing (with sign language) Michael Bublé’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
25 families of children with Down syndrome participated in the project, and later appeared as guests on British ITV show This Morning, the Mirror reported Dec. 13. During the show, they expected to watch the finished video for the first time – but not to also see a special message from the Canadian singer.
“When I heard that Wouldn't Change A Thing had chosen one of my songs to sign to, I was really moved by it,” Bublé stressed at the beginning of their video. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”
In the film, those with Down syndrome – and their parents – sign along to the classic Christmas song while smiling next to their Christmas trees. As the song continues, the cameras revealed the families on the set of This Morning.
Bublé waved at the end, “Merry Christmas, everybody.”
5. St. Louis Man Brings Presents to Families of Violent Crimes
Rickey Whittington of St. Louis is delivering 5,000 toys to local children this year. But that’s a small drop in the bucket compared to the 100,000 he has given in the past 19 years to “area schools, churches, and families of homicide victims in the days before Christmas,” reported Fox2now.
His latest visit was to Cameron Fowler's two-year-old daughter and her cousins. 27-year old Fowler was “gunned down” in a parking lot Dec. 9. “I am so thankful despite everything that happened, we still wanted the kids to have a merry Christmas,” Fowler’s mother commented, “We are thankful from the bottom of our hearts.”
Whittington stressed, “I can’t correct the mistake, but I can bring a smile to the kids’ faces.”