I love holidays, and I am looking forward to Sweetest Day! Some people refuse to celebrate Sweetest Day because they think it’s a commercial holiday made up by the greeting card or gift companies in order for them to make more money. But, the holiday has noble beginnings.
Sweetest Day originated in Cleveland in 1922, during the Great Depression, and earlier than I think a lot of people assume. Herbert Birch Kingston, a philanthropist and candy company employee, wanted to bring happiness into the lives of orphans, shut-ins, those who were ill, disabled individuals and others who were forgotten.
With the help of friends and neighbors, Kingston distributed candy and gifts to those whom he felt needed to know they were cared for. Other Clevelanders soon followed suit, and the celebration came to be known as the Sweetest Day. Although this holiday’s tradition now seems to largely involve giving cards, candy and flowers, to family, friends and lovers, we can follow Kingston’s example and use the day as one to reach out to those who are underprivileged or those who just need encouragement.
I recently volunteered at the church I’ve been attending to send cards for various holidays to the church’s missionaries. As a person who’s always enjoyed giving cards, I’ve offered to send them cards on Sweetest Day. Some of the missionaries are serving in countries where people don’t have all the luxuries we have in the United States. I hope knowing people appreciate the work they do will put smiles on their faces.
Another nice thing about Sweetest Day is it is a day for women in romantic relationships to treat their men—a reversal from Valentine’s Day, where stereotypically men dote on their female partner. This is important because love at its best is a two-way street.
Although 80 percent of Hallmark greeting cards sales for Sweetest Day are romantic, more and more people seem to be inspired on the holiday to tell people they are in other types of relationships with that they love them.
I plan to do something special for my mom for Sweetest Day. As a struggling single mom, she paid for my tuition at Powers Catholic High School years ago. I’m going to get a massage with her and take her to dinner.
I also want the day to be extraordinary for my dog, Jasper, who has been my most loyal friend for 13 years. It will be filled with brushing (which he adores), a longer than average walk, a trip to the dog park and a special meal.
Sweetest Day is primarily a regional observance celebrated in the Great Lakes region and the Northeast. However, the holiday is gradually spreading to other areas of the country. I think this may be because people love Sweetest Day so much they tend to take the Sweetest Day tradition with them when they move.
I hope you will celebrate Sweetest Day with me. After all, it’s a day devoted to sweets and love!