01/21/2012 09:20 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2012

It's National Hugging Day! Adorable Photos Of Kids Hugging (PHOTOS)

There is a cure-all for a parent's tough day. No matter what’s happened, a big warm delicious hug from your child will make things all better. And, today, the kids have no choice but to oblige. It's National Hug Day!

Founded in 1986 by Kevin Zaborney (the website for the holiday says he is sometimes called the Ambassador of Hugs!) National Hug Day falls in between Christmas and Valentine's Day, every year. In other words, a bright spot in a dismal stretch, the antidote to what's come to be known as Blue Monday.

Before any naysayers complain that there are too many days created for (harumph) no good reason, it appears as though Hug Day is pure and good. No marketing ploys. Just hugs. The folks behind it have announced 2012's "Most Huggable People": Mother Gloria A Mecca, who created Heavenly Hug Angels dolls to honor her son who passed away. And, comedian Ellen Degeneres, a known hugger. Additionally, four couples in London went ahead and hugged for 24 hours and 44 minutes, the amount of time needed to break the world record for hugging.

Nobody is suggesting you try for daylong hugs. You could just click over to The Nicest Place On Earth (seriously go there some time soon) or look at cute cats hugging. But, as National Hug Day's website points out, "according to intelligence researcher Jay Gordon, M.D., co-author of "Brighter Baby," studies show that children who get some sustained form of touching such as a long hug every day, are smarter." And, countless other studies have shown the concrete health benefits of a nuzzle or twelve.

So, take a few seconds to hug your kids today -- and make sure they snuggle with each other. Then, send us a photo to add to our slideshow of hugs below!



hugging slideshow