Apparently, Sweetest Day is a thing. It was started in 1922 by a candy maker from Ohio who collaborated with other candy people to distribute over 20,000 boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor” in Cleveland. Although many view it as a second Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day is more about celebrating all those that make your life special. It is an opportunity to let those people around you know that they are special and that they make you happy. And you do this by giving them candy. It hasn’t really caught on here in New England, but it’s a thing in Ohio and in the Midwest (with a few flare ups in Pennsylvania and New York).
It’s odd timing for this kind of holiday. In just two weeks we will be giving out candy to any stranger that walks up to our door (as long as they are not dressed up as themselves). As a kid, your Halloween bounty should last you until Thanksgiving. I imagine a Sweetest Day throws off that ratio and already puts those too-much-candy conscious parents on full alert. Apparently there are a lot of critics about this holiday too, mostly calling it a Hallmark Holiday invented to sell candy and cards. Maybe so, but isn’t that what we do for everything in our culture? My biggest bone to pick with this holiday is that it’s hard to say. Try saying it to someone who has no idea what you are talking about. Did you say Sweetener Day? Sweetheart Day? Who are you and why do you have candy?
To celebrate, I picked up some Charms Blow Pops at the store. Can we give some props to the Blow Pop which gives us the best of both worlds: candy and gum? I mean, outside of Razzles, there’s no other candies that combine the two with such success in the candy world. With the pops, I wrapped them up little bouquets with the flavors divided equally, I taped them together and then added a little ribbon and homemade card. Not something you’d promote on Pinterest, but I have to say not too bad for a non-crafty dude like myself.
I could have easily gone overboard on this one because I like the idea of giving things to the people you love. However, because the holiday kind of snuck up on me and in the interest of saving money and time, I kept it local. We were heading to the soccer fields today to watch our nephew Ben play and to see our niece Eva play too (they happened to have games at the same time in the same complex). This was ideal for Sweetest Day distribution because I was able to bring along the lollipops for Ben and Eva and for Eva’s sister Savvy. I gave a bouquet to each of them after their games. They all seemed rather clueless as to why I was giving them lollipops but they happily accepted them nonetheless with smiles and thank-yous. Savvy naturally had a few questions which I answered as best I could (she always has a few questions). She then spent the rest of the time at the field holding onto her sweetest bounty. She dropped one at one point and seemed crushed it was missing, but I was able to find it and return it to her and she perked back up. When I gave Eva hers, she just kind of giggled as Eva does and then had her Mom put the lollipops in her bag for safekeeping. Every once in a while, Eva would check back in with her Mom to make sure she still had the candy (as to make sure Katie had not binged on the pops in that five minutes). Ben, who had scored the go ahead goal in his game, was happy too and gave me his sly smile of thanks. He actually gave two of the pops to his buddies and saved one for himself. He’s nice like that.
On our way home, we dropped off some lollipops for our niece Molly at her house. Our plan was just to drop it off because we knew only Jeff was home and we didn’t want to bug him, but as we approached the house, Rosie the dog gave us away with her enthusiastic and sad to say screen-tearing greeting. Jeff restored order, and I quickly left the pops (and a cookie for Becky) on their kitchen counter, and then we skedaddled leaving Rosie behind to face her consequences (I hope she blamed it on Rivet). We still had two more bouquets left and we decided to drop them off at Pete & Cherie’s house for the kids. We knew they weren’t home, but Katie was actually there picking up some Halloween costumes, so she let us in and we left a bouquet for Brix and Wavy on their kitchen counter (we skipped Calix only because he hasn’t learned to enjoy a good Blow Pop yet, only if they are Breast Milk flavored (hey Charms – how about that for a new favor!?!?)).
That was our celebration which was actually the biggest Sweetest Day Celebration we’ve ever had. My apologies to those who I was not able to share the Sweetest Day love with. I think next year we will be more prepared and get out in front on this one. You have to like a holiday that makes you take a moment to appreciate the people in your world that you love (and one that keeps candy flowing). Yeah, I know, it’s a made-up holiday, but that doesn’t take away from what is intended to celebrate: Love. We all need to keep fighting for that and celebrating it as best we can.
Next Up: National Liqueur Day