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A little history on Sweetest Day

What is Sweetest Day? Well that is a very good question and there doesn't seem to be a clear answer....which can be good or bad depending your outlook. Sweetest Day is a holiday celebrated in the midwest on the third saturday of October. 


The first time I ever heard of Sweetest Day was in the late 1970's. I had accompanied my mom the our local IGA grocery store and the cashier handed both of us a single Hersey Kiss. I asked why she did that (in the hopes of figuring out how to get more) and she told me it was to celebrate Sweetest Day. If she explained what Sweetest Day was, I don't remember her answer...and I think that is the problem with Sweetest Day. No one can explain what the premise is which is why it hasn't caught on everywhere.


What I learned later was that in 1922 a group of Cleveland, Ohio candy makers got together and created a charitable giving campaign as part of their overall marketing plan. They gave chococolates and candies away to the less fortunate thus promoting candy as a way of saying...you are important...I see you...you are not forgotten. They called their giving campaign Sweetest Day and encouraged everyone to follow their example.



It must have been successful because it spread throughout the midwest and became a big holiday. However it seemed to morph along the way. Instead of giving to the less fortunate it became a day of saying "you are important to me" to our loved ones and by the 1980's it had taken on a more romantic tone. Mr Dietz told me in 1980's it was like Valentine's in the Fall. They sold thousands of roses, lots chocolates and worked around the clock for days, often sleeping at the flower shop. It no longer is a second Valentine's day but it is still a big flower giving holiday because flowers are a great way to say how much we appreciate someone.



The beauty of only a few people celebrating with flowers is there isn't the huge demand driving up the prices of flowers as there is with Valentine's.  However there are enough people that are celebrating with flowers that we can buy in quantities that give us a discount...and who doesn't love a discount?!

So essentially Sweetest Day is what you make it, which I know isn't overly helpful but it is completely liberating. So celebrate in a way that works for where you are in life...don't break the bank, don't go overboard. Just remember to celebrate and show all the important people in your life that they are important...you see them...you are remembering them. Be a sweetheart. Maybe 100 years from now it will have morphed into Be a Sweetheart Day.