Although it might be confusing, Hug a Bear Day isn’t about the big fuzzy beasts that roam the forests munching on nuts and berries and once a year or so busting out the fishing skills to scoop up salmon from the teeming rivers! Hugging one of those could, in fact, be very dangerous and lead to a very bad day.
This day is, instead, about our favorite fuzzy knights of Yore, sometimes called by the name “Teddy”. They are big and fuzzy and warm, they watch over children (and, perhaps, some adults) at night while keeping the monsters in the closet and under the bed at bay.
For many, a cuddly bear is often the first gift a child is ever given. Long afterward, many people tend to carry them forward into their adult lives as ‘memoirs’ of the past. But everyone knows the real reason people still have them is that their lives seem a little better, and a little saner, with those childhood protectors, still working on their behalf.
It’s time to enjoy Hug a Bear Day!
History of Hug a Bear Day
The history of stuffed animals goes back a long way. In fact, some archaeological evidence suggests that the tradition of having something soft to play with and hug goes as far as Ancient Egypt.
What is known for certain is that plush toys as they are now known, first started hitting the scene in the 1830s. Of course, the most iconic of all of them, the Teddy Bear, came about in 1902. The classic story goes that the American President at the time, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, was hunting and refused to shoot a baby bear that he and his hunting companions came across. His companions thought him a bit “soft” and so the name of the Teddy Bear was coined.
Since that day, the Teddy Bear has stood as the childhood toy that, in many cultures, is given to almost every child. The term “Teddy” was even derived from the name of this self-same president. There are now millions of Teddy Bears produced every year, in a rainbow of styles and colors. No matter what the imagination may produce, there is likely to be a Teddy Bear that meets the idea of the perfect fuzzy protector!
How to Celebrate Hug a Bear Day
Hug A Bear!
Those who have a bear certainly know what to do. And those who don’t have a bear should probably run out right away and get a bear to hug! If absolutely necessary, borrow or bear nap a snuggly bear belonging to a friend (children are often a good source!) and give it a little cuddle.
Buy a Bear to Hug
Those who are in the market for a brand new bear will likely find an internet search offers a world of options. But the best possible option is to head out to a Build-A-Bear workshop and create your very own fuzzy defender. They even have clothes and accessories that will let children and adults bring out the very best friend the imagination can create. For even more fun, choose a sound box that goes inside, with an adorable recorded message.
Make Some Teddy Bear Treats
Hug a Bear Day can certainly be enjoyed by eating some bears too. Of course, not the stuffed ones, but the food-shaped ones. Whether purchasing Teddy Grahams, gummy bears, or other teddy bear-shaped snacks from the grocery store or making some at home, this is a fun day to get creative.
Try out these ideas for bear-themed recipes or get creative with what can be used in the kitchen to promote the Teddy Bear theme:
- Teddy Bear Rice Krispie Treats. Make the normal recipe or Rice Krispie treats but shape them into bears using one large circle and three small ones. The large circle is the face and the small ones can be placed as ears and a snout. Add chocolate chips for the eyes and a nose.
- Chocolate Bear Paws Candy. Melt chewy caramel candies with butter, whipping cream, and chopped cashews. Cool slightly and place on a pan in a “paw” shape. Freeze, then dip into melted chocolate, quickly adding three cashews on one side to create toes or claws.
- Teddy Bear French Toast. Make normal pieces of french toast, then add banana slices for ears and a snout, topping it off with raisins for eyes and a nose. For an added touch, top with a bit of honey instead of using maple syrup!
- Teddy Bear Sandwiches. Have a picnic and make it much more fun with these bear-shaped sandwiches. Simply cut sandwich bread into large circles (a normal glass or canning jar works), then use the scraps to cut three smaller circles. Spread hummus on the bread, then stick two small bread circles at the top for ears and top with a slice of cucumber. Add a top to the sandwich, then create the face with a bread circle, another cucumber slice and some black olives. Delicious and fun!
Host a Hug a Bear Party
You can also get together with your friends and bring out all your favorite old Teddy Bears. Admit what your favorite plush animal is and share it with those who still love theirs. Children would absolutely love to join in on a tea party with their friends, where the guests of honor are their favorite Teddy Bears!