Hugs and High5s Reach Alaska...and Santa!
Late last year, I went to to Alaska to hug and high5 people, thus completing my quest to reach people in all 50 states!
Now, hugging Alaska was a wonderful experience because I was able to embrace all kinds of people from a 101-year-old veteran to a bunch of people that lived in Utqiagvik , the nation’s northernmost city about 1000 miles due south of the North Pole. But, the coolest person I hugged in the state was Santa Claus.
That’s right, Santa Claus!!
We met at his home at 101 St Nicholas Drive in North Pole, Alaska and it was surreal. My first thought upon seeing him seated in a big comfy throne-like chair atop a stage was 'this is so silly.'
But, as I stopped at the roped off area before the stage and was happily greeted by one of his helpers, I softened a bit.
"Where did you come from to meet Santa?" she asked.
“Philly,” I said and then blurted out my whole story of traveling the world offering hugs and goodwill.
“Wow,” she said, “that’s amazing ...well, let’s get you up to see Santa!” From there, she took my hand and led me through the ropes up to the big man himself. With each step through the rope maze, I seemed to regress in age so by the time I was standing next to the man in red, I was feeling like a nervous 9-year old kid.
"Have you been good?" he bellowed.
"Sometimes,' I said and then gave him one of my hug coupons while sharing my story of hugging a quarter of a million people around the planet.
Santa then looked at my card and then up at me and cut me off as I was speaking. "I heard your story," he said "but, more than that I felt your energy as soon as you walked in. Dave, you have as much spirit as I do. Look at the people in this room - they feel it too and are smiling because of you." It was great to hear and Santa wasn't done speaking either. He finished with, "And, I imagine you’re selling yourself short on the number of hugs you've given- I think that it's at least double.
Now, really sounding like a kid, I said: "Do you think so, Santa?"
“Yeah, I do…now come on and sit on my lap.”
We laughed about that and after getting some pictures, I began to step down from the stage when he stopped me. "Dave," he said, " don't stop."
Next Stop on the Hugs and High5s Tour - Belle Fourche, SD
It was a cool moment that made me think of ways to continue on and with that, I'd like to announce that on February 14th I am going to be going to the heart of the country just to hug people and would like you to join me.
No, I am not asking to travel with me to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, the geographic center of the United States, and hug and high5 people with me though it would be cool if you did.
No, I am asking you to join me by offering a hug, a high5 and a bit of happiness to someone that day for no other reason other than we need more of them in the world.
So remember this ask on Valentine’s Day. Hug someone...your spouse, your significant other, your child, your best friend, a coworker, a stranger...anyone! Help me spread