Herbert Birch Kingston, a Cleveland, Ohio philanthropist and candy company employee wanted a tangible way to show orphans, shut-ins and the under-privileged that their plight was not forgotten by some. Wanting to bring some happiness to these individuals, Kingston started Sweetest Day in 1922 and with the help of his friends, he began giving out candy and small gifts to children living in orphanages, those bed-ridden with illness, and others forgotten by society.
The holiday gained momentum as Kingston was joined by celebrities of the day, such as Ann Pennington who presented 2,200 Cleveland newspaper boys with candy to express gratitude for their service to the community on the very first Sweetest Day. Another year, movie star Theda Bara gave away 10,000 boxes of candy to those who were hospitalized as well as individuals who came to watch her film at a local Cleveland theater.
While largely a holiday that is celebrated in the Great Lakes region as well as part of the Northeast United States, there were several attempts to establish Sweetest Day in New York City in the 1920s. A decade later, the National Confectioners Association, it was reported, were promoting Sweetest Day as a nationally accepted holiday with the same prominence as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
Today Sweetest Day now largely involves the giving of small presents to loves ones, with Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo being the biggest Sweetest Day cities. It has been described by the Retail Confectioners International as an "occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember not only the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed." It is held annually on the 3rd Saturday of October.
With that in mind, there are dozens of ways to show friends, family and co-workers you appreciate their positive influence in your life. Here are a few ideas:
1. Bake a batch of cookies or a pie. Who doesn't love baked goods, especially in place of convenience foods? Apples are in season in October and make for delicious apple pies. Surprise a neighbor or loved one with a warm pie straight from the oven.
2. Surprise a loved one with a drive to enjoy the autumn colors, followed by lunch at a favorite restaurant.
3. Present a special friend or mother with a piece of jewelry celebrating her presence in your life. A birthstone necklace or friendship ring are just a couple ideas - let your imagination roam!
4. Give a harried mom a gift certificate for a massage or to her favorite coffee shop for a few hours of relaxation and bliss.
5. Buy a much-anticipated book for the book worm in your life.
Traditionally, Sweetest Day has been observed as a day to celebrate that special someone in your life. Following are some ideas to spark a sweet celebration of your own:
1. For many women, chocolate is always a welcome treat. Choose extra dark chocolate which offers healthy advantages as well. Enjoy a box of chocolates together watching a romantic movie or by fireside.
2. Leave a significant other love notes tucked into a briefcase, by the cereal bowl, on top of the dashboard, or in a drawer - anywhere they can make a surprising discovery.
3. Choose a special bouquet of flowers. While red roses are beautiful, try something original, such as men picking the same flowers carried by the bride on your wedding day, a flower in her favorite color, or different types of flowers symbolizing the seasons of your life together.
4. Think jewelry. A girl can never say no to a special piece of jewelry. Whether it's a diamond ring (why not pop the question on Sweetest Day?) or some other piece of personal adornment, jewelry is a gift that will remind her of your love all year through. Other possible ideas are a ring with both of your birthstones, a diamond pendant necklace, or an unusual gemstone setting. Today's jewelry is available in a wide range of price points, so it's possible to find the perfect gift for the perfect sweetie.
Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora bracelets, Pandora charms, and Pandora beads are only a part of the collection. For more information, Lewis Jewelers, 2000 West Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48103, 877-88-LEWIS or visit the website.