Sweetest Day

Happy Sweetest Day!

Today is Sweetest Day Celebrated the Third Saturday of October. As a kid growing up, I became enamored with the local Hallmark Card store that was on my walk to school. I became friendly with the family that owned it, and eventually worked there, decorating the windows or handling the register… I was probably 12 years old the first time I entered that store. It was right around this time of year, and Harrison who was to become one of my very best friends was wrestling with a crepe paper tissue monster to get it displayed in time for Halloween. Back then, Halloween decorations went up in October, and Christmas decorations went up in December. Life was simpler, then. Sweetest Day was a holiday brought into my awareness early on by the cards that came in seasonally at this time of year. Sweetest Day was a curiosity to me, as there were only a few cards to celebrate it, a selection of maybe three or four. “The lady in the card store,” as I called Adrienne, explained to me that it was a small holiday that only a few people celebrated. It seemed Magical to me that it was some kind of secret Holiday about which only few people knew!”

I have learned more about it over the years. There are many stories of how “Sweetest Day” began. Hallmark says “Legend has it that Sweetest Day was established around 1922 by Herbert Birch Kingston, a Cleveland, Ohio candy company employee who wanted to bring happiness to the lives of those who often were forgotten. Kingston and others distributed candy and small gifts to orphans, people confined to their homes and others to show them that someone cared.”

Other sources have it beginning in 1916 founded by the National Confectioner’s Association, who touted during World War I, “Get one for yourself and one for the boys overseas!” until sugar rationing began in 1917, at which point the Holiday was put on hold until the war ended in 1918, at which point “Candy Day” as it was then called, lengthened to a week-long celebration.

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Homemade Cookies are always good!

Still other sources attribute the holiday to candy maker C.C. Hartzell, and some say that in 1937, The National Confectioners Society petitioned to have the holiday recognized, bribing local charities and other organizations with another 10,000 boxes of candy.

In the early 1930s, silent film star Ann Pennington distributed candy to 2,200 Cleveland newspaper boys, and movie star Theda Bara gave candy to theater-goers and patients in Cleveland hospitals.

Sweetest Day is still celebrated most commonly in the Great Lakes region where the holiday originated. In recent years, it has evolved into – some might say returned to its roots as — a celebration of doing the sweetest things!

Simple Kindnesses,

Loving Acts,

Generous Expressions,

Helping Those in Need,

Random Acts of Kindness…

Holiday traditions often evolve over the decades and centuries… Trick or treating used to happen on Thanksgiving Day – children would go around knocking on doors with sacks asking, “Anything for ThanksGiving?”, and it was only in the early 1900s that it became a tradition of Halloween. It may change again in the decades and centuries ahead. Christmas used to be a time of scary ghost stories and crimes. People stayed indoors fearing that their houses would be robbed. Over time it became a holiday of gift-giving and festive celebration!

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A simply delightful Cappuccino

Sweetest Day seems to live somewhere between romantic expression, which is lovely in itself, and simple expressions of Love toward all. Sadly, there is no shortage of people in need these days. Local food pantries for the homeless and hungry have doubled and tripled their clients since the pandemic began and unemployment has skyrocketed under the tRUMP Administration’s failed handling of the pandemic. Hmmm… What is the opposite of “Sweetest?”

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More Homemade Cookies. Brought some to our Neighbors, and an elderly friend today!

So if you are feeling inspired in any way today – or any time this weekend (I am still stuck on the idea of a Weeklong Celebration!) – and if you wish to do just the sweetest thing, please reach out.

Give.

Help.

Love.

Offer.

Delight.

Consider.

Extend a hand.

Speak an encouraging word.

Spread Kindness like glitter… It doesn’t cost a thing! Sprinkle it everywhere! And perhaps you will give to yourself the Sweetest Feeling of Community, Kind-Heartedness, Love, Satisfaction and who we truly are, and who we can yet be to one another…

Happy Sweetest Day!

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