Believe it or not, we started this post over a month ago, and it’s already February 3rd. So much for our “Welcoming 2019” title! Ah well…In 2017 we began our hugging sessions for the year on April 1. It was (in part) a laugh at the day, but it was also an excitement/ anxiousness to get started for the year! Our last hugging session for 2017 was on December 10, and we thought we’d expanded our timeline significantly over previous years. Well! In 2018 we had a warm spring and so we had our first hugging session on March 10; our last hugging session was on December 30! We’ve found that even if it’s only 9 or 10°C we can be out for an hour or so before we have to seek warmth (and hot chocolate). During our last hugging session in December we received waves from two Ambulance attendants who were driving by… and then a few minutes later they drove by again, put the lights on, pulled over and got out for hugs! What a wonderful gift! It was a great way to end the year.
This year we’ve started earlier than ever. Our first hugging session for 2019 was on January 12 and we’ve been out three times so far! February is shaping up to be a busy month for us, but we’ll continue to show up with posters and open arms as often as we can. We’re beginning our 10th year now, and we’ve so far hugged Ambassadors from at least 82 countries! In our first 3 hugging sessions in January we’ve already connected with people from 10 countries. Every hug is unique and special. We also receive a lot of waves, bicycle bells, air hugs, high fives, fist bumps, and during our second hugging session this year we received a record 16 car honks!!
Thanks much for continuing to be a part of our adventure, and if you happen to be walking by the Homecoming Memorial at Ship Point while we’re there (or anywhere you find us, really) do stop to say hello!
Remember to hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!
P.S. Our other pre-Christmas adventure for 2018 was our annual walk with Twinkles and Krinkles. They’re two of our reindeer, and since people tend to get really stressed out during the holiday season, Twinkles and Krinkles like to go out and wave to people. Marcia and I take the opportunity to reveal our inner S. Claus identities and go with them. Sometimes the people smile or wave back, and sometimes they’re unable to do that, but that’s okay too. We have fun.
Let me tell you: true invisibility is having long white hair, a white beard and a long, bright red coat, carrying a giant reindeer through the main branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library and having no one look up from what they were doing!