Barneblad: Nov. 7 is Hug a Teddy Bear Day!

Barneblad: A monthly feature to share with kids and grandkids

Photo: Pxhere
Get ready: Nov. 7 is Hug a Teddy Bear Day!

Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall

Image: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
When President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a brown bear, the term “teddy bear” was born.

The history of the stuffed animal goes back a long ways, dating back to ancient times, but in America, these furry friends first became popular in the 1830s. The most iconic of all of them, the teddy bear, came about in 1902. The story goes that American President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was hunting and refused to shoot a baby brown bear. From “Teddy’s bear” came “teddy bear,” and today, almost every American—and Norwegian—boy and girl has one.

In Norway, teddy bear is called “teddybjørn,” or “bamse.” “Bamse” is also a Swedish cartoon about a little brown bear with that name. Bamse wears a bright blue cap and coveralls. Most importantly, he becomes the “world’s strongest bear” after eating a special type of honey called “thunder honey,” which is grandmama prepares for him. (Beware that most anyone else who eats will get a stomachache for three days.) Even more importantly, Bamse is the kindest bear in the world.

Photo: Wikipedia
Bamse is both the strongest and kindest bear in the world.

And now we all know that teddy bears are kind and loveable! For this reason, a new study showed that 70% of all children have said that they want to keep their teddy for the rest of their lives. While I no longer have my first teddy bear (I think I loved him to death), I now have a little white polar bear named Svalbard, who keeps me company when I am lonely, puts a smile on my face when I feel down, and just makes me laugh with his cute little smile—and I just can’t wait to give him a big bear hug on Hug a Teddy Bear Day!

So it’s time for you to mark your calendars and get ready! Of course, you will want to give your own teddy bear a hug, and here are a few fun ideas to share with your friends and family:

1. First of all, it you don’t have a teddy bear, get one! And do you know someone who doesn’t have one?  Nov. 7 would be a great day to get one for them, too: this is certainly what Bamse would do!

2. Buy a bow for your bear. Teddy does so much for you that it’s time to do something for him. Why not tie a pretty new ribbon around his neck on his special day?

3. Bake some bear cookies. What could be more fun than baking some yummy sugar cookies in the shape of a bear? Mom or Dad can help you find a cookie cutter. You can bake the cookies together, and then you can decorate them for your teddy bear tea party.

4.Have a bear-hugging party. Send out the invitations to your friends (they should have a picture of a bear on them) and organize some simple snacks (those teddy bear cookies would be perfect). And yes, make sure to remind everyone to bring a bear! It’s a great time to take some photos, and you may want to give out prizes: Tallest Bear, Purple-est Bear, Silliest Bear, Bear with the Biggest nose, the Most Hugged Bear, etc. Finally, you may even want to take a little bear nap afterwards.

5. Have a bear sleepover ZZZ… It’s OK to wait until the weekend to celebrate if you want to have a sleepover, but again: everyone must bring a bear. It’s an ideal time for a nighttime bear story, and there are many to choose from: Think about Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Winnie-the-Pooh, just to name a couple of them. And, of course, you can make up your own bear stories—I’m sure everyone will have lots of adventures to share about their own special, huggable teddy bear!

Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
Author Lori Ann Reinhall wasn’t able to keep her first teddy bear, but these days, she holds on to a cute little white polar bear named Svalbard.

This article originally appeared in the November 1, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.