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Song reveals what teachers 'really wish' for students over winter break

... and more heartwarming, happy and funny moments to end the week.
/ Source: TODAY

Though this season is one of joy and hope, it is also can be difficult and emotionally challenging. This year, many families will once again be kept apart by a new and highly contagious variant of COVID-19.

We're sharing the happy, heartwarming, and funny moments we found on the internet this week in the hope that if you are struggling, you might find some comfort in them, too.

All they want for Christmas is...

If you find yourself unable to stop humming Mariah Carey's version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," just know you are not alone. In fact, even at her own house, Carey has back-up singers at the ready ... her children and her dogs!

Good to know it's not just us who find the song infectious!

This boy's performance of "Hallelujah" earned a standing ovation

This time of year, parents sit through a lot of winter programs at school, some more entertaining than others. But TikTok user @Jamese2010's son gave a performance that mesmerized his audience — and the internet, too.

"When you hear your son singing his heart out," James wrote in the caption of the video, which has 283,000 likes.

"Holy cow. I'm blown away," wrote one commenter.

"Somewhere, Jennifer Hudson is throwing a shoe," joked another.

Keep singing, James!

Prince Harry and Meghan's holiday card is full of love and joy

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released their annual family holiday card, and we can't stop smiling at the picture they included, which reveals both how much 2-year-old Archie looks like his dad and a first glimpse at a beaming 6-month-old Lilibet Diana.

Photographer Alexi Lubomirski wrote about the project on his Instagram account. "This day with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was one such joyous experience, and one that I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to capture."

If you want to see some more adorable holiday cheer, check out more holiday cards from our own Jenna, Carson, Sheinelle, and Dylan!

A teacher's song for her students might make you cry

We think of winter vacation as a time kids look forward to, but for some students, this isn't the case; school provides a source of stability, safety, and nourishment they will miss the next few weeks.

Single mom and music teacher Risha Allen posted a video of herself performing an original song for her students before they left for the winter break, and the song's lyrics — and the way her students echo them back to her — are both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Allen sang, "When we send you off for Christmas break, we hope that you'll get gifts. But here's what your teachers really wish: We hope you get hugs, love, gentle hands and voices. We hope you feel safe, warm, and get your bellies full.

"But if you don't, just hold on, and soon you'll be back here. And we'll makes sure you get all that after New Year. We can't wait to see you after New Year."

Allen's video has been viewed more than 2.6 million times, and some educators have been sharing the song for students in their own schools. Allen provided the note progression in the comments so others could learn to play it, too.

Allen's video has reached a lot of hearts. "I was that kid that didn’t get that over the breaks. And now my kids do. Thank you to every teacher that kept me safe at school," wrote one commenter.

... and this teacher raised her students' spirits by sinking a shot

Ms. Fitz, a teacher at Holy Trinity School, Georgetown, in Washington, D.C., became an instant icon this week when video of her making a very impressive free throw from across the school's basketball court went viral.

Sharing the video on its Instagram account, the school wrote, "In case you needed proof that teachers were superheroes ..."

Word on the (recess yard) street is that Ms. Fitz promised her class hot chocolate if she made the shot, but clearly, the real prize was in the joy of celebrating together.

This grandfather reminds us it is never too late to chase a dream

Rene Neira, 88, was able to attend his granddaughter's recent college graduation ceremony, and he had a special seat beside her as her fellow graduate.

Though terminally ill and in hospice care, Neira accepted his diploma of recognition in economics from the University of Texas at San Antonio alongside his granddaughter, Melanie Salazar, 23. It was a moment more than 50 years in the making, but Neira never gave up on his dream to earn a degree.

His granddaughter considers him a role model for what can be achieved with hard work. "I am so thankful to have him and I am so thankful to have shared these memories together of college and graduations. I love him dearly," she said.

Reunions like this prove there is no place like home

Especially in a year when family holidays will be disrupted by COVID (again), seeing loved ones reunited never gets old.

We hope you, too, find your way home for Christmas, wherever that is, even if it has to be by Zoom or FaceTime this year.

... and we're sending thoughts to parents trying to get a Santa pic today

Good luck and stay strong.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Stay safe and take care of each other.

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