For many of us, Sweetest Day is a day to showcase the love and appreciation we have for the special people in our lives. Contrary to what people believe the initial reason for the holiday was to give back in a charitable fashion.
In 1922, Herbert Birch Kingston, an employee at a candy company in Ohio decided that he would bring cheer to the sick, bed-ridden and less fortunate by handing out candy favors to ensure that their day was brightened up**. Over the years, the act of kindness and simplicity has grown into splurging on luxurious gifts without the pure sincerity to go along with it.
Sometimes we forget about the simple things. Here are a few ideas for a simpler more meaningful holiday:
- Indoor Picnic—since the days have gotten cooler an indoor picnic with candlelight is the perfect way to show your romantic side and to save some money. Prepare snacks like chocolate covered fruit and simple sandwiches. Enjoy each other and engage in conversation. (Leave the tech gadgets off for a while.)
- Go to the movies—an early matinee is a great gift. Go see a romantic comedy or a family movie. Laughter is good for the soul so catch a flick that is sure to be enjoyable. If money is tight rent a movie. Either way quality time is the best time.
- Cook dinner—nothing shows you care like a home-cooked meal. Fix a favorite dish or dessert that has been missed. It’s sure to be a win-win.
- Express your true feelings—things are different now due to the rapid advancement of technology. Everything is so short and abbreviated. Take the time to write a heartfelt note, letter or paragraph in a card regarding your love and appreciation for them.
If you want to pay it forward by giving back here are a few alternatives:
- Volunteer—sign up at a local shelter or soup kitchen. Lend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. Donating your time is a wonderful thing.
- Visit the children’s hospital—spend some time with the children. Read to them or play games with them for a few hours. I guarantee that you will put a smile on their faces and joy in their hearts.
- Donate—if you have old or gently worn clothes that you no longer have use for donate them to the Salvation Army or to churches in your area. Rather than throwing away things that someone else might appreciate give them to organizations that can help those in need.
If you choose to give back, here are several places that welcome volunteers:
Bridging Communities (Deliver Sweetest Day to the Elderly)—6900 McGraw, Detroit, MI 48210 (Monday, October 14th-Friday, October 18th)
Capuchin Soup Kitchen—cskdetroit.org or 313-822-8606
Gleaner’s Community Food Bank—gcfb.org; 866-GLEANER ext. 239
Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries—313-993-4700—drmm.org
Detroit Receiving Hospital—drhuhc.org or 313-745-3495
Forgotten Harvest—248-967-1500 ext. 125
Whatever you decide to do on Sweetest Day, October 19th, do it with an open mind and open heart. Enjoy!
**Fact about the holiday -corporate.hallmark.com
By Khulela Byrd