Psychologists Say Those Who Decorate For Christmas Earlier Are Happier

Dad and Son Decorate Early
(Getty/Westend61)

Along with Thanksgiving and Black Friday, November reintroduces the much-heated debate as to when it’s appropriate to bust out the Christmas decorations.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with laying out that porcelain snowy village set or erecting that Christmas tree right after Halloween, but some think it lacks practical sense (or they just hate being reminded of how much holiday shopping they have left to do).

However, according to experts, decorating a bit earlier might actually make you happier than if you wait.

“In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood,” psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told Unilad.

“Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement!”

(Getty/AleksandarNakic)

Simple enough, but psychotherapist Amy Molin goes even further, emphasizing the importance of those nostalgic feelings and why they affect us so strongly.

“Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past, and it helps people understand their identity. For many, putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.”

So, don’t feel bad about decking those halls a few weeks early and don’t be a Scrooge by criticizing others for doing so either. It’s just a little injection of nostalgic holiday cheer and everyone deserves it!

Farm Help Kids With Disabilities Connect With Abandoned Animals

Rescue in Austin Texas
(Instagram/safeinaustinrescue)

During life’s highs and lows, animals are a constant source of unconditional love. They don’t care who you are, what you look like, or whether or not you got that promotion – as long as you feed them and give them some daily ear scritches, you’re loved for life. The Safe in Austin Animal Rescue is taking advantage of the healing power of animals, creating a space where both their furry rescues and kids with their own struggles can learn and grow.

Most of the animals at the Texas rescue have experienced some degree of abuse or neglect, and as a result, need to re-learn to trust people. Once the rescued animals are healthy and deemed safe enough to be around kids, they take on an extremely special role within the rescue.

The rescue’s website explains, “we introduce our rescues to children that come from similar backgrounds of abuse, neglect, and/or special needs. Our animals provide healing to trauma, at-risk, and/or special needs children by way of unconditional friendship and a clear, loving, example of what they are looking for most… hope.”

Though this life-changing rescue now helps countless children bond with animals, it all started with one. His name was Angel, and he was an Autism Service Dog. One of the farm’s owners, Jamie Wallace-Griner, was in awe of just how much Angel helped her son overcome fear and anxiety simply by providing a constant source of love and support. Now, the farm has helped many other kids cope with whatever it is they’re working to overcome – and the animals couldn’t be happier to be part of the process.

The rescue aims to reduce barriers to entry for kids would greatly benefit from this unique therapeutic environment. “Healing can be hard and scary, but animals can show us the way! We know that not everyone can afford expensive therapy sessions and high priced programs. Our goal is to offer a place of healing and happiness that is available to everyone.”

 

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We are three years old, guys! 🎉🎈🎊🎈🍾 Well, three years ago today I posted this video in reaction to getting our official 501c3 nonprofit status in the mail! Those were the “Hurricane Harvey” puppies we took in! And look at the property!! 👀😱👀 No pastures at at. No fencing. No pond. No buildings. No garden. No horses. We have come such a long way in just three years! We have saved so many lives and most importantly been a part of healing So Many hearts! All because of that precious white dog bringing up the rear! That’s not Gabe, that’s Angel! And oh my goodness she must be so proud looking down from heaven at her legacy! ❤️ Congratulations rescue family! We did it together….. and we are not stopping now! 🥰 Saving lives and healing hearts, Rescue animals rescuing children! All because of a boy….and his Angel! ❤️🐾 Read our story- www.safeinaustin.org

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The farm used to be funded entirely by the owners, but Safe in Austin is now a registered nonprofit. There’s a $25 contribution that families can make when they visit, but nobody is turned away from this unique farm simply because they can’t pay.

The farm has had such an enormous impact on the lives of struggling kids that many have even returned as volunteers. The incredible rescue reminds both animals and humans how good it is to feel accepted and loved. There’s no judgment, no stigma, nobody trying to write your story – Safe in Austin truly lives up to its name.

The Rock Posts Throwback Photo in Dad’s Wrestling Gear, “Thank God for Puberty”

The Rock shares photo dressed in dad's wrestling gear
(Instagram/therock)

Kids get a kick out of imitating their parents. Whether it’s relentlessly parroting everything they hear or dressing up in their dad’s uniform 5 minutes before he’s supposed to leave for work, kids are tiny mirrors (for better or for worse). Recently, our favorite wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson shared an adorable throwback photo of himself at 11 years old, dressed up in his late dad’s wrestling gear.

It’s not uncommon for kids to dream of doing what their parents do, given that it’s what they’ve grown up seeing every single day. What is uncommon is for the child of a pro wrestler to actually freaking become a pro wrestler. It’s not the type of gig you can get through nepotism – if you become a pro wrestler through the connections you have rather than your skill, you will straight up die in the ring. Fortunately, The Rock grew from a tiny pebble to the absolute tank of a human being we know and love.

Rocky Johnson, the “Original Rock,” passed away this year at age 75. Rocky was a legend and a trailblazer in the world of pro wrestling, becoming the first black Georgia Heavyweight Champion. In 1983, he won the World Tag Team Championship making Rocky Johnson and his partner Tony Atlas the WWE’s first ever black champions. Those were no small shoes to fill, but Dwayne Johnson got it done.

The Rock honored his late dad in the throwback photo he shared on Instagram, reminiscing about the days he used to dream of following in his incredible dad’s footsteps.

The caption read, “A lil’ throwback action to 1983, when I was 11 years old – I used to LOVE putting on my dad’s wrestling trunks, boots, jacket and championship belts – dreaming of one day becoming a pro wrestling champion.”

Joking about his not-yet-ripped bod he added, “Only thing I forgot to wear was my training bra!! C’mon afro tits, you’re gonna be late for school!”

It’s no secret that Dwayne Johnson is a family man, so losing his dad earlier this year was an especially big blow. Johnson posted a beautiful tribute to his own personal hero, and continues to keep his memory alive.

“I love you,” Johnson captioned the video. “You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.”

 

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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐

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The full caption is well worth a read, but ultimately, The Rock’s Instagram posts paint a picture of a boy who loved his dad. He admired him, looked up to him, and love him with all his heart. Looking back at the photo of The Rock as a small boy, we see a kid who wanted to be just like his dad – as so many do. And even though Rocky Johnson is no longer here, Dwayne is carrying on his legacy. And undoubtedly, Rocky Johnson was one proud dad.

Ghostbusters Sneakers Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Ghostbusters Shoes by Reebok
(Reebox)

I’m no sneakerhead. I’ve never owned a pair of Air Jordans, I never even owned any Reebok pumps. The one pair of sneakers I own are generic dad New Balance running shoes, and they’ve been stuck at my office gym locker since March when my office closed down.

But I am a movie fan, and a Halloween fan, and a Ghostbusters fan. So when I heard that Reebok was releasing not one but two special Ghostbusters-themed sneakers just in time for All Hallow’s Eve, my ears perked up.

And then I saw them. And my ears perked down a little bit. But hey, they’re collector’s items.

First up are the Ghost Smashers, described by Reebok thusly:

“Show ghosts who is boss. These men’s Ghost Smashers shoes have a fearless design inspired by the Ghostbusters movie from the ’80s. The leather upper has a worn, weathered look as if you’ve gone into battle. Signature details from the film give them a legit look.”

They are… interesting. There’s some weird proton-pack deal on the back, complete with neon-looking tubes. These aren’t your Daddy’s sneakers unless your daddy is Ray Parker Jr.! And if he is, I hope he didn’t give all his money to Huey Lewis, because these kicks will cost him $150.

Ghostbusters Shoes Proton Pack
(Reebok)

The second pair, also being released on Halloween Day (that’s October 31st, FYI), are “Ghostbusters Classic Leather Shoes,” selling for $100. They are a bit more normal looking.

The official description: “Strap on your proton pack. Or, you know, just lace up these Ghostbusters shoes. It’s time to celebrate Sony’s original Ghostbusters movie. The design includes several tributes to the series, from the logo on the tongue to the slime graphic on the outsole. The shoes are made of smooth leather, with a durable rubber outsole.”

Ghostbusters Tan Suit Shoes
(Reebok)

Both sneakers have the awesome Ghostbusters logo on the tongue, which, frankly, is all I really need.

Who ya gonna call to get these sneakers? Reebok’s Website.

Saved by the Bell Reboot Trailer: It’s 2020 so This Show Could Actually be Good

Saved By The Bell Trailer
(YouTube/ONE Media)

A lot of things have happened this past year that are simply unprecedented. From the global pandemic to murder hornets to water on the moon to Tiger King, 2020 has been full of unpredictability, but perhaps nothing has caught me more off guard than this:

Saved by the Bell is being rebooted, and it looks sort of… good?

Look, the bar is low. The original Saved By the Bell, which I watched religiously on Saturday mornings and after school, was a trainwreck of a show. The acting was bad, the humor was unbearably cheesy, and the entire thing was amateurish on every single level. The cast pretty much all went on to success of some kind, barring Dustin Diamond (Screech) who gained little more than notoriety for being a creep, and Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle), who basically disappeared from the public eye.

The rest of the cast, which included Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Ferris Bueller-type Zack Morris (who only recently started watching the first series), Tiffani-Amber Thiessen as cheeleader and girl-next-door Kelly Kapowski, Mario Lopez as jock A.C. Slater, and Elizabeth Berkeley as brainy feminist Jesse Spano (I hate myself for remmebering all of this), went on to successful careers of varying degrees.

Of course, they couldn’t have been too successful, because all four of them are back in the reboot!

The premise has been updated to fit modern times, with Bayside forced to welcome outsiders into its privileged confines (and Zach is now governor of California because rich white people always fail upwards!), Slater and Jesse working at the school where Zach’s son rules the roost, and the humor has been updated to maybe – possibly – have some actual laughs!

Of course, this being SBTB, there are plenty of indications that no, this will not be good, like the character of Zack’s son, who immediately looks unbearable. Also Max, the magician waiter (and owner?) of the local hangout, is back for some reason, as is the “Friends Forever” song from one of the original series’ most absurd episodes. So tread lightly!

It premieres on Peacock on November 25th:

LEGO Celebrates The Mandalorian Season 2 With Life-Size 14,000 Piece Baby Yoda

LEGO Baby Yoda Big Build
(YouTube/LEGO)

LEGO has given us a huge array of Star Wars sets over the years, ranging from simple to over-the-top elaborate. The LEGO Star Wars partnership began in 1999, but due to the massive success of the iconic collaboration, LEGO has extended the partnership with Lucasfilm multiple times. Fortunately, we get to enjoy the sweet fruits of this match made in Alderaan until at least 2022.

The people at LEGO are extremely good at keeping up with the latest trends, releasing multiple sets based on The Mandalorian in under a year since the hugely successful series’ premiere. However, the first LEGO Mandalorian set was missing one very important character – Baby Yoda.

Baby Yoda quickly became the adorable, scrunchy little face of the Disney+ series, so its absence from the set was noticeable. LEGO remedied the situation by giving Baby Yoda its very own set. Though Baby Yoda isn’t actually the younger version of the wise old Yoda we know and love, Mandalorian fans quickly took a liking to The Child – maybe because whatever species these little green guys are, they’re freaking cute.

Over 1,000 pieces to build your very own LEGO Baby Yoda is a pretty sweet tribute – but how does 14,000 LEGO bricks sound? Big, it sounds big. And it is – in fact, LEGO celebrated the release of The Mandalorian season 2 by building a life-size version of The Child (a little over 22 inches tall). If you’re going to bring another Baby Yoda into the world, it’s important to make sure the little guy’s comfortable. Aside from building The Child himself, the LEGO masters built him his very own floating pod.

“Patience you must have,” real Yoda reminded us – and we’re pretty sure he was talking about this. Three master LEGO builders put this set together as a team, and it took a whopping total of 119 hours.

LEGO posted a video of the build on YouTube, but fortunately, they condensed 119 hours down to 55 seconds. The caption read, “‘The Child’ is back in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. Watch this video of our master builders creating a scale LEGO model of the galaxy’s cutest co-pilot.”

“Why did we build the cutest co-pilot in the galaxy?” LEGO’s video asked, which is truly an excellent question.

“Because this is the way!” An extremely on-brand answer that’s The Mandalorian equivalent of “because I said so.”

Regardless of the real reason, big Baby Yoda is cool as heck. Don’t forget to watch the Season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian on October 30 on Disney+, and if you’re planning on attempting your very own Big Build, may the force be with you.

Disney+ Lands Oscar Isaac on Marvel’s Moon Knight Show

oscar isaac is moon knight
(Getty/Francois G. Durand Marvel)

Last year, in the aftermath of Endgame and the end of the Infinity Stones saga, Marvel Studios laid out their plans for the future of the MCU.

Aside from the various movies that are still yet to see the light of day (Black Widow, The Eternals), and Thor and Dr. Strange sequels, they announced the WandaVision, Falcon and Winter Soldier, and Loki TV shows for Disney+. We know now that Hawkeye and Nick Fury are getting shows too, but not everyone on Disney+ will be from the movies.

Marvel also announced shows for lesser-known characters like She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel, which were recently cast, and someone called Moon Knight, a fan-favorite character who is a mercenary/vigilante/consultant (?) and is also a conduit for an Egyptian god named Khonshu.

Keanu Reeves was rumored to be in the running, but it looks like the former Resistance member, Oscar Isaac, is in. The Star Wars star has signed onto Disney+’s Moon Knight series, and aside from Samuel Jackson joining the platform, Isaac may be the biggest star Disney+ has.

Isaac is a talented actor who was nominated for an Oscar for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and has split his time between the Star Wars trilogy and prestige projects from respected directors like Alex Garland, JC Chandor, and Denis Villeneuve, with whom Isaac made the forthcoming Dune.

Isaac isn’t the first movie star to move to television, and he surely won’t be the last. Over the past decade, the divide between the TV and movie ecosystems has all but disappeared, and with the future of movie theaters in doubt, thanks to the impact of the coronavirus and the explosion of streaming, more and more box office stars may be taking refuge in TV projects.

As long as the people doing TV are as bad-ass as Oscar Isaac, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s also easy to see a future in which Isaac takes Moon Knight from Disney+ to the big screen, if and when movies come back. It’s hard to believe they’d grab such a big name for a minor character and keep him corralled to the small screen.

No word yet on when production will start.

He’s Back: Arnold Schwarzenegger Recovers From Second Heart Surgery

Arnold Back after Second Surgery
(Twitter/Schwarzenegger)

“I’ll be back.” The iconic phrase was made famous by Arnold in 1984 while playing a time-traveling robot assassin. He went on to use it in 7 other movies and then in real life after waking up from his first heart surgery in 2018.

He’s clearly a man of his word.

Arnold revealed on social media over the weekend he’s feeling “fantastic” after having an aortic valve replacement. The legendary actor and former politician thanked the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic for their work and posted a thumbs-up pic of him in the hospital recovery room. It won’t be long before he’s back Terminating trolls.

“I feel fantastic and have already been walking the streets of Cleveland enjoying your amazing statues. Thank you to every doc and nurse on my team!”


The heart surgery was a planned follow-up to the one he had in 2018 to replace a pulmonary valve. Both surgeries stem from Arnold’s congenital heart defect. Schwarzenegger also posted a few pictures of him walking around the city after his procedure, drawing some warnings from his kids in the comment section.

His son, Patrick, begged his dad not to work out. “❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️PLEASE DONT GO WORKOUT TODAY!!” he commented on the post.

His daughter Katherine showed her support with hearts, and his youngest son Joseph also sent his support, “Love you dad! How are you already hitting a lat spread???” he wrote on Instagram.

It wasn’t just his family sending good vibes his way, as even his co-star from the 2008 blockbuster hit True Lies (ok it was 1994, the real date just makes me feel old), Jamie Lee Curtis shared a sweet sentiment for her former co-star.

NASA Found Water on the Moon

Moon Water
(Twitter/NASA)

NASA revealed some major news Monday, announcing they have discovered water on the moon. And, possibly, like, a lot of it. This news was blasted across the NASA communication matrix, including an emoji-filled tweet, which doesn’t feel like the most authentic way to broadcast a major scientific discovery but hey, it is 2020.

It’s been a terrible year on Earth, but a cool year for space. We got confirmation the Pentagon recovered “off-world vehicles” and a chicken nugget became the first of its kind to reach space.

And now we have moon water.

In a press conference, NASA discussed the two groundbreaking studies and the accompanying data to back up the discovery of water on the sunlit side of the moon, along with the possibility that there is much more water than previously believed (or hypothesized) on the moon.

“For the first time, water has been confirmed to be present on the sunlit surface of the moon,” said the director of the astrophysics division at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate during the press conference.

“We had indications that H2O — the familiar water we know — might be present on the sunlit side of the moon. Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

The agency detected the water with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy airborne telescope. The SOFIA is basically a plane with a huge telescope in it. And it has space geeks excited that water can exist in the harsh circumstances on the surface of the moon and the possibility we could use more of the moon’s resources in future explorations.

Not only could we drink the moon water, if we were ever seriously planning to colonize the moon, having a source of water is absolutely essential for the splash park (no society can exist without one).

Monday’s announcement also included data from a second study that hypothesized many dark pockets on the moon could be filled with moon ice (some of these have been in darkness for billions of years). Further study needs to be done to map out just how much water is on the moon, but from a science standpoint, it was a big breakthrough for NASA.

Frozen Foods Company Makes History by Sending the First Chicken Nugget to Space

Nugget Launched into Space
(Facebook/Iceland Foods)

One small trip for a chicken nugget, one giant leap for the only food my kids will eat. A frozen-foods company made history this year by launching the first chicken nugget into space. The nugget now joins the elite class of various astronauts and assorted animals as the first of their kind to leave the planet.

Iceland Foods was the British company that celebrated their 50th anniversary by launching it into space. It’s been a great year for space, with the news the Pentagon had recovered off-world vehicles and the NASA dads making their trip outta here in a SpaceX vehicle. And now, this:

The company used a space-marketing company (which…is a thing that exists, I guess) to launch their nugget, which was secured to a weather balloon and cameras during its ascent miles into the atmosphere. It reached an altitude of 111,000 feet, which the company said translated into about 880,000 nuggets. The best part is you can watch it float away, and then come crashing back down to earth (at a speed of 200 mph) as all dreamers do eventually.

The nugget looked to be in good shape, especially as it hit temperatures approaching negative 100 degrees, but there is no word yet on what “out of this world” tastes like.