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We live in a cold, cynical world where miracles only seem to come in "Whip" and "Gro" variety, except around Christmas time. That's when you start hearing about "Christmas miracles," those amazing tales about people overcoming impossible odds that the media probably made up to sell more Internet newspapers. Not these ones, though. These are all complete real Christmas stories that should come with a Surgeon General's warning because they'll make your heart grow three sizes:

6
Couple Discovers an Abandoned Newborn Baby in the Middle of the Desert

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

In 1931, Ed and Julia Stewart were driving home on Christmas Eve when they suddenly got a flat in the middle of the Arizona desert. While her husband changed the tire, Mrs. Stewart wandered off for a bit, and because what happened next was so amazing, we won't even imply that she was probably just looking for a place to piss. Mrs. Stewart came across an old hatbox, with an abandoned (but totally healthy) newborn girl inside.

Jack Kurtz/The Arizona Republic
When was the last time YOUR bladder saved a life?

Now, this all took place a few miles outside of Superior, Arizona, a tiny town which in 1931 was probably only populated by the Stewarts and an old dachshund with polio. Even today, there is literally nothing surrounding the town but a depressing wasteland, so just think what kind of astronomical odds it took for the couple to get a flat tire in close proximity to the discarded baby, allowing them to save her life.

What's even more incredible is that the Stewarts then decided to hand the little Christmas miracle over to the authorities so she could be legally adopted by properly vetted people. Unlike some folks ...

Warner Bros.
"Sweet; free baby!"

Seventeen couples applied to adopt the "Hatbox Baby" but due to bad weather, only two of them managed to show up to the hearing. The judge ultimately granted custody to one couple who named the child "Sharon" and raised the shit out her. Sharon Elliott never met her biological parents, but with the support of her adopted parents, she did eventually work in the aerospace industry, which, considering that she was a woman raised in 1930s Arizona, is a miracle in its own right.

5
Woman Dies During Childbirth, Then Just Comes Back to Life

Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

On Christmas Eve 2009, Tracy Hermanstorfer was at a Colorado Springs hospital about to give birth to her first child. But suddenly, disaster struck as Mrs. Hermanstorfer unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest, probably because she realized that she'll now have to get her kid a birthday and a Christmas present at the same time.

ABC News
"I then thought to myself: if I survive this, we're all becoming Jehovah's Witnesses."

After the mother's heartbeat came to a standstill, the doctors tried to at least save her son by performing an emergency cesarean section on the clinically dead woman. They got the baby out but the newborn was very weak with a rapidly diminishing pulse. The staff then handed the dying baby over to Mr. Hermanstorfer, assumingly so he could get a good, close look at his life going straight down the toilet.

That's when the universe yelled "You've been Punk'd!" and Mrs. Hermanstorfer's heart miraculously started beating on its own. Soon after that, her son's pulse stabilized, and he began breathing normally. They both eventually made a full recovery, with the mom not showing any side effects from being technically dead for four minutes.

AP
Other than her sudden craving for human brains.

And no, shit like this doesn't just happen in childbirth -- to this day, the docs at the hospital have absolutely zero clue as to what caused a healthy woman with no history of heart problems to suffer a cardiac arrest, or how she just got over it like that. The parents later decided to name their son "Coltyn," reckoning that if he survived this shit, he can survive high school with a name like that.

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4
Man Falls 47 Stories, Wakes Up on Christmas Day

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Alcides and Edgar Moreno were working as window washers at New York City's Solow Tower in 2007 when their scaffolding suddenly collapsed and the brothers plunged 47 floors down into an alley below. Edgar was killed instantly, but Alcides not only survived the fall, but was already sitting when the paramedics arrived.

William Farrington via nypost.com
Shortly after, he was sued by M. Night Shyamalan for plagiarism.

After the window cleaner was rushed to the hospital, doctors had to perform surgery on Alcides' ... pretty much everything. Over the next 18 days, Alcides slipped into a coma and underwent nine complex surgeries during which he had gallons of blood and plasma pumped into him. And you just know that in all that time, at least person thought to themselves, "Aren't we just wasting time here?" We don't mean to be insensitive, but given the height of his fall, the man was on borrowed time as it were. It was only a matter of time before he ... woke up perfectly coherent from the coma on Christmas Day? What? But more importantly: HOW?!

No one is really sure how Alcides survived the accident, including his doctors. Even Michio Kaku, the Internet's favorite non-Tyson, non-Nye super scientist guy, attributes it mostly to luck, which is the closest a physicist will ever come to calling something a "miracle."

Dan Brinzac, Zazoosh Media via nypost.com
"Wait, THAT'S the building he fell off? Yeah, the dude's straight-up magic ... "

Still, crashing down 500 feet into concrete probably left Alcides crippled for life, right? For your information, Ebenezer Grinch, not only did Alcides learn to walk again, but just this past year, he completed a three-mile walk for charity in just under an hour.

3
Ship Rescues 14,000 Korean Refugees With Zero Casualties

Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images

In December 1950, after the start of the Korean War, thousands of North Koreans were gathering at the Hungnam docks, hoping for one of the Allied ships there to get them somewhere less massacre-y. Unfortunately, by the time they got there, there weren't many ships left and it didn't seem realistically possible to rescue everyone. Thankfully, the SS Meredith Victory, a small ship stationed in Hungnam, was captained by Leonard LaRue: a firm believer that one shouldn't concern himself with silly things like "reality" where human life is at stake.

via moore-mccormack.com
Also: Benedict Cumberbatch's grandfather, apparently.

Despite the fact that the Meredith Victory was designed to hold 60 people at most, LaRue ordered all 14,000 North Korean refugees to get on his damn boat, which was sort of like stuffing 200 people into one coffin. All the refugees did manage to get on board but they were packed so tightly in the cargo holds and on the ship's deck that they couldn't even sit down.

John Brady via moore-mccormack.com
"Meh, beats flying United, am I right?"

There were also no sanitation facilities or heat available on the ship, and that's how the floating sardine can was forced to navigate the mine-infested Korean waters without proper bomb-detecting equipment. Shit, the only weapon on the ship was Captain LaRou's service pistol. Mercifully he didn't need it because after two grueling days at sea, the 14,000 refugees finally reached safe heaven on Geoje Island ... on Christmas Day.

The most remarkable thing about this story wasn't that none of the passengers died in the bowels of the cold, dark ship, but that they actually ended up with more people than they started with. That's right: five women actually gave birth on the ship before reaching Geoje Island, which makes you wonder why has no one made a fucking movie about this yet?

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2
Woman's Lost Dog Is Found 1,300 Miles Away on Christmas Night

fergregory/iStock/Getty Images

In April 2006, an Aurora, Colorado, woman named Vonda Lundstrom suffered the most heartbreaking situation not involving a wood chipper that any dog lover could endure: her pet rat terrier, Daisy, ran away from home and didn't come back for months. During that time, Lundstrom searched high and low for the lost pup, but found no trace of her. Finally, she was forced to accept that Daisy was probably never coming back.

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./Blend Images/Getty Images
"She's eating her own poop in heaven now."

But seven months later, Vonda Lundstrom got a call from a woman in Knoxville, Tennessee, who claimed that she found a stray dog wandering down the street in front of her house, which just happened to be a female rat terrier. She got Lundstrom's contact info after calling the number on the dog's rabies tag and getting the dog's vet in Colorado, which confirmed that she did indeed find Daisy Lundstrom, and of course she found the dog on Christmas. Hell, she probably found the dog under a double rainbow or something.

Here's why this story points to Daisy actually being the canine Jesus. Other than her being found on Christmas, there's the whole business of Knoxville being located 1,300 miles away from Aurora. That's more than one-third the length of the continental United States, across numerous states full of wild animals, deranged hill folk, and swarms of drugged-out meth heads, and that's just in Kentucky.

No one knows how Daisy managed to survive such a journey, but we're betting all those hardships paled in comparison to returning home only to discover that Vonda Lundstrom has replaced Daisy with a new terrier named Elsie. That wasn't a joke.

Darin McGregor/Rocky Mountain News
"No, only my love was the joke ... " -Daisy.

1
Woman Survives After Being Buried in Snow for Three Days

Gary Blakeley/iStock/Getty Images

It was the week before Christmas in 2008, and Canada was undergoing a massive, apocalyptic snowstorm.

Thomas Wachs/iStock/Getty Images
Also known as "Friday"

The weather conditions unfortunately created a complex dilemma for Donna Molnar, a 55-year-old housewife from Ontario, Canada, who really wanted to bake cookies that day. At least, we assume it was cookies, which are the only reason a sane person would ever venture outside during Snowpocalypse 2008 to buy baking supplies like Mrs. Molnar did. That was the last her family saw her for the next three days.

After police were notified that Mrs. Molnar did not return home from her shopping trip, her abandoned car was found in a rural parking lot. Suddenly the search for the missing woman was on, even if the raging snowstorm made it a virtual certainty that Mrs. Molnar was dead and buried under a heap of snow. Miraculously, though, it turned out that everyone had it only half right because a dog named Ace did eventually find the missing woman buried under nearly 3 feet of snow in a field. The twist here is that she was still totally alive and conscious despite her body temperature having fallen to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

CHCH

Mrs. Molnar was then immediately taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia and frostbite, eventually pulling through on Christmas Eve, that magic time when Death waves his hand and goes: "Oh, get out of here, you knucklehead. I'll get you next time."

Donna Molnar later explained that she collapsed while trying to get help after a snowplow blocked her car. But as luck would have it, the falling snow created a protective, heat-retaining cocoon around the woman, who concluded this potentially tragic episode in the most Canadian way possible by apologizing to everyone for almost freezing to death.


Robin Warder is the co-owner of a pop culture website called The Back Row and worked on a sci-fi short film called Jet Ranger of Another Tomorrow.

For more of the insane and unexplainable, check out 5 True Stories That Will Make You Believe in Karma. And then check out 15 True Stories That Will Make You Believe in Karma.

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