14 October 2010

obscure holiday: sweetest day

I was at the store the other day, and I noticed something weird as I passed by the greeting card section.  Yeah, I saw all the Halloween cards (my sister is the only one who has ever sent me a card for that one), but then I saw a section for "Sweetest Day."  The sign said it was on October 16.  Umm, what the heck?!  I'd never heard of such a thing!

So of course I had to look up this "holiday" that has eluded me all my life.  I use the term "holiday" loosely, since the word comes from "holy day," and being a devout Catholic, I don't like to blaspheme the term.  [Sure, I participate in Halloween because it's fun and goofy, but it's not a holiday.  It's the EVE of one--it even says so in the name (Halloween = all hallows eve).  You can bet my bum will be in a church pew on the first of November to celebrate the REAL holiday, All Saints' Day.]

Anyway, I did some digging, and here is what I learned about this "Sweetest Day" celebration.  (Along with my parenthetical commentary.) 

  • When is it?  Yearly, the third Saturday in October.  (Guess they never could quite convince people to exchange cards for Columbus Day.)
  • What is it?  A day to show affection to the special people in your life (Umm, shouldn't that be every day?)
  • How is it celebrated?  By giving chocolate, flowers, and cards to either the needy/oft forgotten, or people in your life that you actually like.  (I don't usually give gifts to enemies . . . maybe there's a celebration for that though?  Frenemies Day, anyone?  . . . Anyone?)
  • How did it get its start?  It really was made up by a candy company!  It was sort of a philanthropic move in which they handed out over 20,000 boxes of candy to "newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor" in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1921.  (Funny, no mention of greeting cards in those early days.)
  • Where is it celebrated?  It's apparently most popular in the Great Lakes region of the US.  Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo are its biggest fans.  (Funny, we're living in Florida and B is from Indiana, and this is the first we've both heard of it.)
Well, that was a just a brief overview, but if you want more detail go to sweetestday.com  I definitely admire the idea of giving tokens of affection to the needy, but as for the '"special" people in my life, I think I'll just stick to birthdays.  And while I've never gotten a card for "Sweetest Day," I've also never gotten one for "Talk Like a Pirate Day" either.  I think I'll be okay.

How about you?  Have you ever celebrated (or even heard of) "Sweetest Day?  Will you be celebrating this year? 


  1. That is too much!! I have never heard of this either, I am going to have to check out the card section and see if they have any cards for it around here. Also, I am sure as time gets closer I will have a ton of questions to ask you about Norfolk! I'm so excited we got stationed there!

  2. Me and the hubs celebrate it because he married his first wife on Valentine's day, so it's not a blown out of proportion thing. My grandma used to celebrate it- it's big up in Philly!

  3. PS: We don't go crazy with it, but it's a neat little made up thing and I'm all about made up days. Anytime that we can be fun and goofy, I go with it.

  4. Heard of it, but never knew the history...thanks for sharing! As for Halloween, I love all holidays, even the "silly" ones, so I'll be passing out candy and making chili for dinner, a tradition my family has had for at least 27 years.... But I double checked my calendar just to be sure, and there's no "obligation" for All Saints Day this year since it's on a Monday...our Sunday morning Mass fulfills that requirement...just thought I'd pass that along since I didn't know that Monday Holy Days were covered on Sundays...I always relied on my mom to remind me about Mass times! :-)

  5. Elizabeth, your Hubs' Valentine's Day thing reminds me that my mom really really pushed me not to mix a holiday with a wedding (we didn't). That's a good reason for y'all to celebrate.

    Kate, I was pretty sure the Sunday was gonna fulfill it this year, but in the other years I was definitely there on the 1st! Maybe I'll go to an All Soul's Day service instead this year.