Well, the turkey is ordered, you're thinking about when to start hanging those Christmas lights, and answering all those high-level Santa-themed questions, like, "Are the elves salaried or hourly employees?" Yes, the holiday season is now underway. Everyone has their "thing" they love about the holidays - whether it's family time, the cookie baking, the festive music, or if someone might accidentally Kragle a broken Christmas ornament to their palm (yes, that happened in this family).
It's all peace, love and eggnog.
However, I want to share something a small subset of us have a deep-seated fear of....
Something about the holidays brings out the over-hugging in people. I know it's gratitude; I know it's love; I know it's okay. It's not that I hate hugs, but those who know me well know that I am not a hugger. Sure, I hug my immediate family and I embrace that; I love my family and want them close.
But, otherwise I'm a one-armed hugger. I feel the need to keep the other arm free. I realize it must be some type of defense mechanism. I'm sure a therapist or four would have a field day with the inner workings of my mind and exactly why I cannot do the full embrace. I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say, that the holidays bring out the huggies in so many people. Friends I see every day, all year long, will suddenly now hug me because there's Christmas music playing; extended family will hug me at holiday events even though I just saw them a week earlier, not to mention the awkwardness of the holiday hug with the mailman and UPS guy.
Those who have known me a while, I suspect have noticed my half-hearted, one-armed hug. I try, I really do, but cannot commit to two arms. I need an out. I have family that laugh as they go in to hug me. One cousin even says, "Will she go all in this time???!" It makes for quite the entertainment with howls of laughter. And there have been events when too much eggnog has been consumed, where family will smother me with the bear hug. As an asthmatic, it's almost more than I can bear (no pun intended). Sometimes I wonder if they are taking bets on it before I arrive.
I realize that by revealing this I open myself to a flash mob of huggers.
But know, just because I give the one-armed hug, does not mean I don't love you.
It's not you, it's me.