Celebrated on the third Saturday in October, Sweetest Day is on October 21 in 2017. And you know what’s sweetest about Sweetest Day? It’s the fact that it has a little bit of a checkered history, because it’s been referred to as a “concocted promotion” created by the candy industry solely to sell sweets. As a result, it’s only ever been celebrated in America’s Midwestern states, and failed to take off on the coasts. Although let us stop you there because…like that even matters? As though Santa weren’t colored red because of a Coca-Cola advertisement, and Valentine’s Day didn’t really take off after Hallmark started offering cards. Whatever! It’s an excuse to eat candy! Come on, now, people. Stop over-analyzing an opportunity for a sugar rush!
Why We Love Sweetest Day
A. It’s about whatever you want
The great thing about a holiday that’s essentially a confection of its own is: You can make it about whatever you want. In the early 1930s, a fading movie star named Ann Pennington—she’d starred in silent movies, George Gershwin was a friend—made a splash for the candy companies by distributing candy to orphans in Cleveland. It sounds like something Lady Gaga might approve of, and it sets the stage for you to do whatever you want with Sweetest Day. Now: Let’s all aat more candy!
B. It’s an opportunity to celebrate being Midwestern
Long winters, terrible food, weird vowels, a lack of decent art galleries, some admittedly semi-reasonable National Football League teams and cold, cold, cold, miserable snow for months on end. Also: Fargo. Those aren’t great reasons to be from the Midwest, and it’s not often that folks from there get to feel special. However: National Sweetest Day changes that!
C. Valentine’s Day is just once a year
Thing about Valentine’s Day is: It puts a lot of pressure on. Best thing about Sweetest Day? It doesn’t do that. So if there’s someone you’re sweet on, you can let them know with some candy! There’s no need to cook dinner or take them out in the evening—just buy them some candy. Plus, you can spread a little cheer to coworkers, family members, whomever you choose.
How to Celebrate Sweetest Day
1. Make a list
If you’re really going to get the most out of Sweetest Day, it’s probably best to write a list of people you feel sweet towards. Rather than restricting yourself to a significant other, think about all the people you want to celebrate today. Who knows, maybe you can even use the day to make amends with a jerk coworker or two!? We’re big fans of spreading the sweetness as far and wide as possible…
2. Distribute some candy
Ideally, you’re looking to give your candy out in sweet presentations such as in heart-shaped boxes, or with ribbons and bows attached. Remember that the objects of your sweet affections will be bowled over if you go to a little extra effort, and since you’re doing this, let’s go big or go home, huh?
3. Do something nice
Hey, you don’t just have to give candy, baked goods, and cards. Maybe you could take somebody out for the day, or tell them you love them. There’s plenty of things you can do to make the day sweet without necessarily only relying on sugar. But, you know, don’t forget the sugar. We’re clear on that, right? SUGAR.
Sweetest Day - Key Moments
Sweetest Day Tries for the Week
Efforts by the candy industry to kickstart “sweetest week” also fall flat by the candy industry, but it’s sort of sweet that they tried
Sweetest Day Tries To Go National
Efforts to spread the Sweetest Day phenomenon beyond the Midwest meet a lukewarm reception
Cleveland’s Candy Day
A committee of 12 confectioners in Cleveland stage the world’s first Sweetest Day by distributing 20,000 boxes of candy
Valentine’s Day Gets Real
Hallmark starts offering Valentine’s Cards, leading to an average expenditure of $140 by most Americans