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Jan 21, 2015

Celebrating National Hug Day

Free Hug
Since 1986 January 21 has been celebrated as National Hug Day in the U.S. However, it is not a public holiday. January 21 was chosen because it marks a midpoint between Christmas and Valentines day, when you might think people are at their emotional low. 

What better way to lift spirits than with hugs? 
I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words. ~Ann Hood

Not only do hugs lift your spirits, but research shows that hugs have other benefits!

Who will you hug today?

Image Jesslee Cuizon, Creative Commons

Jan 18, 2015

Winnie the Pooh Day

The real stuffed toys Public Domain
We celebrate Jan 18 as the birthday of A. A. Milne, British novelist, playwright, poet, and the author of Winnie the Pooh, a bear that is loved by young and old. Milne was born in London, England, on January 18, 1882.

Milne's greatest and enduring successes were his best-seller books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), illustrated by artist Ernest H. Shepard. Of course we know these books as the adventures a young boy named Christopher Robin, after Milne's own son (Christopher Robin Milne), and Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. 

The animal playmates were inspired by the real Christopher Robin's stuffed toys. The stuffed animals depicted in the photo are the actual Harrods toys purchased for Christopher Milne in the early 1920's. 

Clockwise from bottom left in the above photo are bouncy tiger Tigger, kind kangaroo Kanga, Edward Bear (aka a bear named Winnie-the-Pooh the central character), gloomy donkey Eeyore, and shy Piglet. Roo was also one of the original toys but he was lost a long time ago. Pooh, Piglet, and the others now live at the New York Public Library. Wise Owl and fussy Rabbit were not based on toys and Gopher was made up for the Disney version.

"...these are some of the best-loved characters in children's literature. They began as stuffed toy animals that belonged to a boy named Christopher Robin."

In addition to the two Pooh books, Milne's best known works are his two collections of children's poetry, When We Were Very Young (1924) and Now We Are Six (1927)
"The 38th poem in the book, "Teddy Bear", that originally appeared in Punch magazine in February 1924, was the first appearance of the famous character Winnie-the-Pooh, first named "Mr. Edward Bear" by Christopher Robin Milne."

Read more about Pooh, The Tao of Pooh and find a few gifts at my page Winnie the Pooh & Pals