My darling,

            Because you're my one true love, I wanted to get you something really special for Christmas.  Unfortunately I couldn't think of just the right gift to give you, and for the longest time I was cast about in a sea of indecision (just off the coast of the state of Confusion) until at last it occurred to me that the best thing to give you was also the simplest: a hug.

            That having been settled, all I had to do was pick out just the right hug for you and deliver it in time for you to find it under the tree, in your stocking, or on the roof.

            One thing I've learned in life is that hugs are easy to give away.  They're very nomadic by nature.  They never stay in one place very long, but just kind of roll from one pair of arms to another, not minding the trip at all (enjoying the travel, actually) and relishing the joy of new scenery and new company.

            Hugs are very untempermental.  They don't care how you carry them or where you take them, how you give them away, how often, or to whom.  All they care about is that you want to give them away and that the one you're giving them to wants to have them.

            Hugs are genuine.  There's nothing phony about them.  They love.  They care.  Don't ever mistake for the real thing those superficial clasp-the-arms-and-touch-cheek-to-cheek imitations people at parties try to pass off as hugs.  Those are just handshakes dressed up as hugs for Halloween.

            People love hugs.  Rare is the Scrooge who doesn't enjoy a robust hug from a good fellow, a gentle squeeze from a little child, or the warm embrace of a parent or lover.

            And, finally, try as you might (and there are those who do), you simply can't get away from hugs.  There's just so blasted many of them.  They multiply faster than rabbits.  Give one away and a hundred more pop up in its place.  They're contagious.  And, once you catch one, there’s no antibiotic you can take for it.  You can't cure, kill, shrink or amputate a hug.  All you can do is give it away.

            So, with all that in mind and having nearby a whole storehouse of hugs to choose from, I looked about to see what kind of hug I should give you.


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