Hug it out: Cuddling at Christmas time

Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, of contrasts between frantic rushing and slothing on the couch, of dark nights and bright trees, of cold weather and warm hearths. But sometimes, among the shopping and cooking and TV programmes and chaos, we lose sight of what’s really important – love.
And the best way of expressing love is through an emotional embrace.

The Christmas story is based on love, after all. Yes, presents are an important part of the story of Jesus, but in essence his birth is about support, love, sacrifice and physical love between a couple. When one thinks of Joseph and Mary one thinks of them embracing as they embark on their journey, or holding each other as the baby makes his appearance.

Think of Christmas advertising and what comes up? Hugs, warmth and friendship.. This year’s John Lewis advert is about penguins first, but following on closely is pairs – the couple walking in the park, for example. What about the hugs between a boy and The Snowman in the classic Christmas cartoon, or the iconic family hugs on the poster for It’s a Wonderful Life?

So how and when should you hug a friend, a loved one or an intended–loved-one? Clearly a boozy clutch of clumsy arms and crude groping at a party or Christmas night might be appreciated as an unaesthetic but short-term pleasure. However, to give someone the perfect festive hug – perhaps for the first time - you might need to put in some preparation.

1. Optional - prepare the clothing
A lovely, spongy and soft, warm jumper from somewhere such as Morph Costumes, makes both a superb gift in its own right, but also a perfect platform to bounce into someone for perfect ‘huggage’. Buy something that reflects their character – if they have a favourite colour or animal there will probably be a jumper somewhere for them. Of course, for pre-Xmas hugging you’ll need to hand over said present early.

2. Initiate
Find the perfect time for the first hug, which might need patience, diligence and swift action. The Christmas party is a good time for grabbing a friend and throwing your arms around them, perhaps powered by fruit cocktails or lager.

But if you intend to take your loving nature ‘further’ with an unaware target, then tread carefully with arm placement – a slap to the face in front of friends at a pub will create an unforgettable Christmas memory for all involved. According to movie folklore other ideal locations for an amorous hug include shortly after dropping someone at their door after a walk home in the snow.

Here’s a superb Buzzfeed introduction to giving someone a hug for the first time, including knowledge on hand placement and ‘hardness’ of hug.

3) Action
So now you’ve established that your target is receptive to love, it’s time for the first embrace. Don’t rush at them like a rugby player crashing into a winger, and once you’re locked in don’t just claw at them like a gorilla climbing a tree; slow but firm, not too high and definitely not too low. Choose your location and timing expertly, and be careful with head placement, depending on your aims.

Here’s to a happy, and huggy Christmas!

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