“Twenty years ago, Robert W. VanSumeren, then 19, stood nervously in a Michigan courtroom as Hillsdale County Circuit Court Judge Michael Smith sentenced him to six years in prison for a string of local robberies. ‘I was terrified. I thought my life was finished,’ he said. ‘I felt really lost and wondered how I’d ever get through it.’ On Nov. 22, almost two decades to the day, VanSumeren, now 40, returned to that same courtroom and stood again in front of Smith.” WaPo: This former bank robber was just sworn in as a lawyer — by the same judge who once sent him to prison.

+ A Holocaust Survivor Received Anti-Semitic Threats, So Thousands of Supporters Rallied Around Her.

+ Students surprise teacher fighting cancer with Christmas carols on her front lawn. From the teacher: “This should never be about me. It should just be about kindness growing and people realizing that sharing that is powerful. To build that culture and that climate around just noticing the tiny, little things you do make a huge difference and to know the importance of kindness and how you can just incorporate that easily into your day, it’s just phenomenal.”

+ “This jacket belongs to you and the collective soul of those who love you, those for whom you are the soundtrack of their lives. It should not sit in a billionaire’s closet for country club bragging rights. For this reason I humbly and respectfully return it to its rightful owner, which is you.” A man bought Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Grease’ jacket for $243,200 for charity, and then gave it back to her. (I got chills, they’re multiplying…)

+ WaPo: A man just gave away $12,000 in Christmas toys, starting at the low-income complex where he once lived.

+ Indie booksellers persevere despite Amazon, rising costs.

+ U.S. lab chimps were dumped on Liberia’s Monkey Island and left to starve. He saved them.

+ St. John Properties awards employees a total of $10 million in bonuses.

+ Tokyo 2020 receives unprecedented demand for Paralympic Games tickets.

+ “Staff at a care home made a Christmas wish come true for a resident with a visit from a stripper with a ‘large chest and big biceps’ … Managers said most people asked for a beach trip or a nice afternoon tea but they decided to respond to the request for a ‘fireman’ to strip.” Was the recipient happy with her gift? “I thought that he was amazing – I wish he could visit us every day.” (What a nice present. One can only hope he danced to Dick in a Box.)