Usually when a nativity scene hits the news, it's because someone snatched baby Jesus. But this time we bring you happier tidings for the holidays: A nativity scene has gone viral on Twitter because it's made up of cute doggos, and it's exactly the kind of pure thing we all need to see as we wrap up this horrible, no-good, very bad year.
The pup-filled scene was put together by Jo Kingston, who runs dog grooming business Wags to Riches in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, England. She gathered up seven dogs for the photo, including a tiny puppy to fill Jesus' place, then posted it on Wags to Riches' Facebook page earlier this month. But it wasn't until a Twitter user spotted the pic and posted it on Twitter Dec. 18 that the photo blew up, and to date has more than 80,000 likes and nearly 30,000 retweets.
Kingston was totally blindsided by the attention the picture garnered. "[I]t's gone bonkers," she told the BBC. "I woke up and somebody tagged me in this photo saying, 'Jo, you've gone viral.'"
Though the Twitter user who posted Kingston's photo didn't credit the original image, and cited Wags to Riches as being Dublin-based rather than located in Leicestershire, the photo was ultimately traced back to Kingston, who said she's gotten tons of messages, including questions about how the heck she got seven dogs to sit perfectly posed with towels draped over them.
According to Kingston, it's easy, "as long as you've got food and you've got the right dogs," she told BBC. Plus she's got some experience wrangling pups for exactly this endeavor — she and her husband, who helps her run Wags to Riches out of their home, put together a similar scene last year that sadly and inexplicably did not go viral and grace all our screens like this year's. Of course, last year's photo only involved four dogs, and no Jesus puppy, so clearly the Kingstons have leveled up.
Kingston told the BBC she took the photo to "create a nice feeling," but the secret behind the photo's viral popularity isn't a big mystery. "People love seeing dogs," she explained, "especially with towels on their heads."
If seven adorable dogs just isn't enough cute for you (which, OK), I have some good news for you: Wags to Riches' nativity scene isn't the only one to go viral lately. A Dec. 17 kids' Christmas play at the First Baptist Church in White Pine, Tennessee, blossomed across the internet after one of the esteemed actors, two-year-old Teegan Benson, joined the nativity thievery club and stole baby Jesus, then refused to give him back.
Teegan's mom Tana Benson caught the whole thing on camera, showing Teegan grabbing the baby doll, her inspiring dance with it onstage, and then the moment of true cinematic tension, when three-year-old Collia Weems, who was playing Mary, headed over to try to retrieve her child. Needless to say, it did not go well, and the pair ended up squabbling over the doll.
In an interview with Knox News, Tana described the moment she knew something was coming, saying, "[Teegan] pulls back the little blanket, and I thought 'Oh no.'"
The video has more than 11 million views, and like Kingston, Tana is totally shocked by the attention, she told CBN News.
It's definitely not shocking that these two posts went viral, though. With the bevy of terrible news circulating, the world seems determined to close out the year with a soul-draining bang, and it's pretty expected that folks are eager to take a breather. Thankfully, no matter how tough things get, we will always have a photo of some very good dogs with towels on their heads. Take that, 2017.