*the third Saturday of October
When I first learned about Sweetest Day a few years ago (when this Texas girl married her wonderful Yankee) I was under the impression that it was the northern version of Valentine’s Day. To some people, it is (although Valentine’s Day is celebrated too). Everything is decorated in red and pink hearts, people exchange cards, flowers, and candy, and everyone goes out for a romantic evening with their significant other.
Some people sneer at this as a “Hallmark holiday,” created simply to sell stuff, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty nice. I have no objections to cards, flowers, candy, or nice dinners out! However, I just found out the background to this holiday, and I think it needs to be shared:
In 1921, twelve Cleveland candy makers decided to do something special. They chose a day and handed out over 20,000 boxes of candy to orphans, the elderly, and the poor. Several movie stars and other celebrities helped pass out the candy.
Over the years, the idea spread and people all across the Great Lakes region started buying candy and other gifts to hand out to the less fortunate, as well as to all their friends. Eventually, people started to forget the less fortunate and just give presents to close friends, leaving us with the holiday we have today.
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”