This Week’s Reason to Party is….National Hugging DayTM, celebrated on Thursday, January 21st.
Ok, I know. National Hugging DayTM sounds like just another one of those cutesy, tell-someone-you-love them holidays, the kind advertised only on cheap coffee mugs and celebrated only by matronly women who collect porcelain cat figurines.
Not true! National Hugging DayTM is actually full of controversy and intrigue! The day was founded in 1986 by the Reverend Kevin Zaborney of Caro, Michigan. He now runs a semi-creepy website where he shares National Hugging Day ideas, like hosting “Hug-a-thons” and starting “Hug Clubs,” and offers his contact information for speaking events.
He also links his site to the well-known Free Hugs Campaign, the movement adopted by quasi-hipster teens in city parks across the country (oh, and Oprah). Ironically, Rev. Zaborney hopes to make some money off of his touchyfeely trademark- the fine print on his site reserves his right to “negotiate a royalty fee” off any Hugging Day profits.
The hug controversy extends beyond Zaborney, though. The Free Hugs Campaign founder had to gather 10,000 signatures to avoid having to purchase a $24 million liability insurance plan. Schools across the country have established “three second rules” or outlawed hugs altogether due to embrace-related lateness, peer pressure, and harassment charges. (Sorry, Ciudad Juarez, the War on Drugs was getting old. We’re into the War on Hugs now.)
Thankfully, hugs are still embraced here at Midd. Celebrate them this Thursday- grab a friend or a Proctor crush or a stranger and hold ’em close. Show someone that you care. And maybe make the wintry chill a little bit easier to bear, too.