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The video above, featuring 6-year-old Landon Johnson and a River Town Crossings Mall Santa Claus, demonstrates just how powerful kindness can be — powerful enough to fall into the Christmas Magic category, according to the boy’s mother, Naomi.

After telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas, Landon ran back a second time to tell him a secret: Landon has autism, and he was worried it would land him on the “naughty” list.

Landon admitted he gets in trouble at school because his teachers and classmates don’t understand autism, and think he’s just acting out. He wanted Santa to know that he’s really not a naughty boy.

Santa listened to Landon’s story, then told the young boy,1 “It’s OK to be yourself. I love you, and the reindeer love you, and it’s OK. You are a good boy.” Landon’s mother told Today.com:2

“This stranger in a red suit told my son the same message I’ve been trying to get through to him for a while now — that he’s special and I love him just the way he was made. Seeing Landon’s face light up in that moment was just incredible. I couldn’t stop crying.”

When they got home, Landon told his mother: “Mommy, it’s OK for me to be me. Santa said so.” Writing on the mall’s Facebook page, Naomi said:

“My child is a great advocate for himself, but this day was different. He opened up to this person about who he was and he was accepted.”

Kindness Builds Satisfying Relationships

Kindness tends to be featured most heavily around the Christmas season, but there’s certainly no expiration date on kindness and acceptance.

Science tells us that kindness directly influences your propensity for happiness. Kindness also improves your health and increases your longevity. That’s a proven biological fact.

And, when it comes to creating happy relationships, few attributes beat kindness, which by definition encompasses taking the feelings of others into consideration, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, gentleness, and caring.

As noted in a recent Greatist article,3 your thoughts, words, and deeds play a crucial role in happiness, and can make or break just about any relationship.

Based on the advice from therapists, researchers, matchmakers, and other relationship experts, the article offers 15 tips to long-lasting happiness, including the following five — all of which are extensions of kindness:

Do or say something daily to show your appreciation. “Saying and doing small, simple expressions of gratitude every day yields big rewards.

When people feel recognized as special and appreciated, they’re happier in that relationship and more motivated to make the relationship better and stronger …” ~ Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great”

Never take your partner for granted.“… Many people assume that just because they are OK without things they want, so is their partner. ‘No relationship is perfect’ shouldn’t be used as a rationalization for complacency.” ~ Irina Firstein, LCSW, individual and

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