January 21: National Hug Day and Squirrel Appreciation Day

It’s January 21, and that means it’s National Hug Day — and also National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Really.

National Hug Day

For some reason, January 21 has become an annual national hugging holiday. The official “National Hugging Day” site — at least, the closest thing we can find to an official site — credits a reverend from Michigan with starting the occasion.

The hugging committee lists President Barack Obama and his family as the most huggable people of 2009, along with some other random folks from across the country.

Squirrel Appreciation Day

On the other end of the spectrum, Squirrel Appreciation Day — also, apparently, falling on every January 21st — is “an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels,” according to the folks at Holiday Insights. So how does one properly “enjoy” them?

“Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group — anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species,” Christy Hargrove, the woman with the distinctive honor of founding Squirrel Appreciation Day, explains.

Hargrove seemingly started the holiday back in 2001. She’s a wildlife worker from North Carolina.

We think hugging a squirrel would be a great way to bring today’s two traditions together. If you want to be more traditional, though, you can check out these Squirrel Appreciation Day e-cards or this guide to recommended squirrel honoring activities.