Have you heard of hygge? The trendy Danish term describes a deep quality of coziness, hominess or well-being. You can experience hygge while cuddled up around the fire with your honey, sharing a big meal with your friends, or just enjoying a quiet, solitary moment of peace and belonging. Of course, a steaming mug of tea or hot chocolate certainly helps, but the beauty of hygge is that you don’t actually have to be swaddled in flannel or halfway through a venti peppermint mocha to feel it. It’s a feeling that transcends material things, like a big, fluffy blanket for your soul.
Our favorites this week
Get going with some of our most popular good news stories of the week
A circle of friends
It’s always a happy time whenever a child officially finds their forever family, but a recent adoption hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan took the joy to a whole new level. Five-year-old Michael and his soon-to-be parents were joined in the courtroom by Michael’s entire kindergarten class, who sat in the audience and waved big red hearts on wooden sticks to show their support. The judge even asked all of the children to tell the crowd what they loved about Michael. The boy’s new parents say they’re so happy about all of the friends he has, and one of the most beautiful parts of fostering Michael for the past year has been the many children “welcoming him into their homes and onto play dates.”
All My (penguin) Children
I can’t stop laughing about these Japanese penguins, whose lives are so tangled with affairs and scandal their handlers at the Kyoto Aquarium and Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium have drawn up complex flowcharts to track their dramatic personal lives. There are lines to denote partners, illicit lovers, heartbreaks, complicated romances, friendships and, yes, enemies. According to the chart, Kyoto’s most popular lady penguin, Tera, has broken six hearts over the past year. Another penguin couple is in an extreme, semi-incestuous May-December relationship with an age difference of 17 years (FYI, Cape penguins live about 20 years). Whew! And, most tragically of all, several star-crossed penguins appear to be hopelessly in love with their human caretakers. We can’t wait to find out what happens next on “As the Penguin Waddles.”
A true match
Lisa and Dan Summers of Auburn, California, matched, met and married thanks to the magic of a dating site, but they recently learned their compatibility goes much, much deeper. Dan has a long-term kidney condition and knew he would probably need a transplant one day. When that day came, the couple discovered an incredible coincidence: Lisa was a match, making her eligible to donate her kidney to her husband. How rare is that? Doctors told them the probability was one in 100,000. “It’s like being next to a stranger on a train, matching them and then also falling in love on top of it,” Lisa said. The pair had the surgeries in August and pulled through with flying colors.
Raise a glass to…
Norbert Tóth, a Hungarian baker who just won an annual contest, held by invitation of the government, to create Hungary’s National Birthday Cake. Delicious cakes are serious business in Hungary, and there’s always stiff competition to earn the annual title. Tóth’s creation is called Boldogasszony csipkéje, which translates to “Happy Woman’s Lace.” The raspberry cream masterpiece is crowned with delicate white chocolate designs (hence the “lace”) and studded with fresh strawberries. Hungarians get to taste the winning cake during the Street of Hungarian Flavours, held in Budapest in the days before the St. Stephen’s Day festivities. Um, anyone want to go in on a last-minute trip to Hungary?
You gotta see this
Ahh, to be a Japanese macaque soaking in your own private hot tub. The monkeys at the Jigokudani Monkey Park enjoy daily relaxing dips in the park’s onsens, which are natural hot springs long used by people — and monkeys — for physical and mental wellbeing. In 1963, the legend goes, an apple fell into an onsen on the property of a local inn. A monkey dove in to retrieve it and hey, wouldn’t you know it, realized the hot water didn’t feel half bad. The monkeys ended up loving the springs so much, the area was converted into a monkey park the very next year.
“At the moment so much of our daily news cycle is pretty challenging, and so I think it is nice in the festive season to be able to watch a fun, enjoyable and festive story with heart.”
– Ben Lamb, who plays King Richard in Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince” movie trilogy, explaining why people love cheesy, predictable holiday movies so much. You’re preaching to the choir, your majesty. (P.S. If you’re looking for a way to make your movie night even more festive, check out our holiday movie bingo cards. They’re hilarious, trust me.)
The Yule Log
The holiday season always brings out the best in people. Here are a few more quick, fun festive stories we loved this week.
An 83-year-old great-grandfather and former country band frontman wrote a Christmas song for his children way back in 1985. This year, Johnny Gondesen got to realize a life-long dream: Hearing his song on the radio. Now he wants “Christmas is Here” to become a worldwide hit.
A team of nine people is delivering 16,000 Christmas trees to families on military bases across the country and service members who are spending the holiday stationed abroad. Trees for Troops has delivered more than 225,000 Christmas trees since the organization began in 2005.
For the first time, New York City Ballet has cast a young black ballerina as Marie in its annual production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” Eleven-year-old Charlotte Nebres is sure to be a star.
KFC is selling a chicken-scented fire log to warm your drumsticks this season. Oh, chicken log, oh, chicken log, how fragrant are your gasses!
Shameless animal video
There’s always time for cute animal videos. That time is now.
Samoyeds are just snowballs in dog form, and watching a full five minutes of Samoyed puppy shenanigans is like getting buried under an avalanche of cuteness. What, too many snow metaphors? (Click here to view)
Source: Thanks https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/06/us/the-good-stuff-120719/index.html