Sweetest Day: A day to be kind, nice to all you know

On Saturday, Kimberly Pendleton is planning a romantic evening with her husband as they celebrate Sweetest Day once again. She plans to take him to dinner at his favorite restaurant, take in a movie or go dancing and then end the night with some “ad

On Saturday, Kimberly Pendleton is planning a romantic evening with her husband as they celebrate Sweetest Day once again.

She plans to take him to dinner at his favorite restaurant, take in a movie or go dancing and then end the night with some “adult” time at home.

“They say Sweetest Day is a day of love for men. A day women should show their love to their man. And that’s exactly what I plan to do, all day and all night long,” Pendleton said.

The myth nowadays is that Sweetest Day was created for men.

But Pendleton may be surprised to learn that Sweetest Day, which was started in 1922 in Cleveland, was never intended as a holiday to celebrate the man in your life.

In fact, Herbert Birch Kingston, a philanthropist and candy company employee, started the day because he wanted to bring happiness into the lives of orphans, shut-ins and others who were forgotten. So with the help of friends, he began to distribute candy and small gifts to the underprivileged.

“Sweetest Day was never intended to be a man’s holiday. It was meant to say thank you to those with a naturally good heart and it shows through their actions,” said Ashley Mayweather, a former psychologist for the Illinois Department of Human Services, now in private practice.

The day has largely become a big commercial day, with vendors and merchants eager to boost sales just before the Christmas holiday. Ohio is the top state for Sweetest Day sales, with Michigan and Illinois next in line, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Texas, California and Florida are also among the top 10 states in Sweetest Day sales.

Troi Hartman, 43, said even though Sweetest Day is technically not a man’s holiday, she still plans to treat her boyfriend as if it were a man’s holiday.

“He deserves it. He is a good man who is always working hard to please me and keep me happy, which I am,” she said.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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