What is Sweetest Day?
Sweetest Day is a regional holiday that is celebrated mainly in the Great Lakes region of the United States and some of the country's northeastern areas. While it is often regarded as a so-called "Hallmark Holiday," or a holiday created solely for commercial purposes, Sweetest Day actually has a fairly long and detailed history. Its origins extend back to the 1920s, to an employee of a local candy company in Cleveland; it is from this that the holiday gets its name.
What Is Sweetest Day?
The holiday's founder, Herbert Kingston, wanted to set aside a special day on which to honor people who are often forgotten, including the homeless, elderly people who have outlived their families and other solitary, lonely and overlooked members of society. To do so, he started handing out gifts and candy to orphans, the disabled, the elderly and many other people with few other family ties. From these origins, it is easy to see not only why it is often confused with Valentine's Day, but also how different it actually is.
Sweetest Day is held on the third Saturday of October, in the regions which celebrate it.
Sweetest Day Gifts
Sweetest Day gift ideas are usually simple. Some of the most popular items include:
- Sweetest Day poems, written specially for the people for whom they are intended
- Greeting cards; musical Sweetest Day e-cards are becoming especially popular
- Flowers and candy for women; popular Sweetest Day gifts for men often include items that are particular to a favorite pastime or sport
- Toys and stuffed animals, particularly for children
From its origins, Sweetest Day has evolved into a day on which people honor everyone special in their lives, so that everyone knows how important they are to those who are closest to them. It is a holiday for family and friends, for significant others and romantic partners, and it is also a day on which many people volunteer to help make their communities a better place for all. If you want to help make Sweetest Day meaningful and special to the people in your city, spend a day as a companion to the elderly in a local nursing home, helping out in a soup kitchen or distributing toys to orphaned children.