Our Hugging Tree

Hi Folks:

If you’ve been following our Free Hugs adventures, you’ll know that we’ve done (almost) all of them at the Homecoming Memorial by Ship Point in downtown Victoria. Part of the reason for that was that we could stand away from the sidewalk (we offered, but people had to come to us). Part of the reason for that is the statue in the Memorial itself:

Homecoming Statue
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We Have Huggers!!

Hi Folks:

If you follow our blog you’ll know that for some 11 years we took our FREE HUGS posters to downtown Victoria and shared hugs with thousands of locals and visitors from (at least) 88 countries. Sadly, we had to quit in March 2020, and we have yet to return. Someday… In the interim we continue to give out Hug Certificates and we have sent out a smattering of Free Hugs postcards. We also continue to share hugs with loved ones where we can… but yesterday we tried something new…

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Krinkles and Twinkles and Smiles, Oh My!!

Mrs. Claus, Krinkles and Twinkles at the Bay Centre

Hi Folks:

This marks the second pandemic Holiday season, and things continue to ebb and flow. Yesterday Krinkles and Twinkles managed to twist our arms enough (it took a serious amount effort!! 🙂 ) to take them on their annual walk about Victoria. This marks our 7th such adventure, and they always have a really good time. As with 2020 we didn’t venture into as many buildings as we had in previous years, but the reindeer don’t mind. They take great delight in smooshing their noses up against windows and peeking in, waving to anyone and everyone in their path… What delights them most is when people smile and/or wave back and they know that they’ve brought happiness into someone’s life, even if just for a moment. Most children smile and wave and a good percentage of the adults do too (even if some of them only smile on the inside). Some people look at them like they’ve never seen Mrs. Claus (or her companion – long white beard, long red cloak) walking around with waving reindeer, but that’s okay too. The holidays can be hard for some people and that’s why Krinkles and Twinkles take such delight in their outing.

Starting from our home in James Bay we walked through the downtown, checking out some of the annual creations for the Gingerbread Showcase and the Festival of Trees before retiring to Murchie’s café for a tea and lunch (Mrs. Claus found the pumpkin spice soup to be excellent!)

On our way back home we stopped at the Homecoming Memorial at Ship Point to spend a moment with our old friend Captain John Mason, and we tarried awhile by our hugging tree, handing out smiles, good wishes and lots of waves!

Many thanks to everyone who joined in the celebration with us yesterday, to the person in Ottawa who joined us virtually, and to the gentleman who stopped to say he had a picture of us from last year!

We haven’t been able to partake in our hugging adventures since March 2020, but maybe we’ll bring out a couple of our other kids – Frosty and Wonder for example – to our hugging tree after the holidays and we can engage in more smiles and waves then.

Hugs,
Mrs. and Mr. Claus 🤶🎅

Happy International Free Hugs Day!!

Hi Folks:

As you all know, the first Saturday in July (today!) is International Free Hugs Day!! Normally (what does that even mean anymore?) that would mean we’d be downtown, by our Hugging Tree, sharing hugs, smiles, waves, handshakes, fist bumps and conversations with locals and tourists alike. Not last year, however, and not today… but soon! The world is starting to re-open, slowly. In the meantime, to paraphrase the song:

If you can’t share hugs with the ones you love, hug the ones you’re with!!

Hugging a Chinese lion, 2019

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. We have a late entry in this year’s Creampuff Derby: our granddaughter, who was born this morning. A most auspicious day!!

Who Were Those Masked Reindeer? I’d Like to Thank Them…

Hi Folks:

Last Sunday Twinkles and Krinkles decided it was time for their annual festive walkabout downtown. This is the sixth year in a row they’ve done this; their reasoning is that a lot of people lose their smiles this time of year and so Krinkles and Twinkles like to help people recover them. These energetic reindeer have huge hearts and they love nothing more than to share that with others.

We set off from our home in James Bay, and stopped first at Cora’s restaurant on Douglas Street for a fortifying breakfast. Twinkles and Krinkles were welcomed right in (our host has a soft spot for reindeer, especially around Christmas).

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Cora's

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Cora’s

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Share Virtual Hugs With Loved Ones…

Hi Folks:

Free Hugs, March 1, 2020

As we mentioned in our last Free Hugs post, this is our 11th calendar year of sharing hugs with locals and visitors to our fair city. However, as the world closed down we – reluctantly – put our posters away, at least for now. In a given hugs session we have the privilege of meeting and interacting with people from up to a dozen countries, but that’s obviously not appropriate at the moment. After our last Free Hugs session we did our self-isolation bit for 14 days. We’re fine; hugs are great medicine. 🙂 Continue Reading →

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Week!!

Hi Folks:

This is Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week! Monday, being Family Day, of course we went out hugging. As mentioned in a previous post, 2020 marks our 11th calendar year of hugging locals and tourists alike – our 11th year begins officially on June 9, 2020 😉

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Hugging 2020: Bringing Vision

Hi Folks:

We’ve had so much rain this January that yesterday was our first opportunity to go out hugging this year. We’re not complaining – we’ll appreciate the water supply come summer – but it has put a damper (so to speak) on our hugging activities! Marcia has designated 2020 as a year of vision for her, and 2020 begins our 11th calendar year of sharing hugs with both locals and visitors to our fair city. So far we’ve shared hugs with people from (at least) 88 countries, and just yesterday we got to meet and share hugs with people from Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Slovakia, U.S. and Venezuela! All of this within the space of an hour. It continues to amaze and delight us. We also had our first vehicle passenger hug for 2020, where a car pulls over, a passenger gets out, runs over for a hug, then dashes back to the car!

Many thanks for all of the smiles, waves, vehicle honks and special thanks to those who took a few moments out of their lives to share them with us. We offer but people have to come to us. We really appreciate it when you do!!

Hugs,
M&M

The Reindeer Take Victoria… Again!!

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Mayfair Mall
Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Mayfair Mall

Hi Folks:

Well, as the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” And while there are many reasons to celebrate the Holiday Season, the transition from shorter days to longer and all that accompanies that, the truth is that this can also be a stressful time of year for many people. People get caught up in the too-short days, the not-enough time, and the hustle and bustle that’s being pushed upon them from all sides. And when they get pushed around too much, sometimes something very sad happens… They lose their smile somewhere along the way. 😪

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More Firsts…

Hi Folks:

This is our 10th year of hugging Victoria residents and tourists alike, and even though October’s weather has become a little drizzly, this has been our busiest year ever! We’ve had so many amazing moments during our hugging sessions – many already recorded in various posts, but we still have new ones all the time. Thought we should gather a few together and share them with you: Continue Reading →