Grandparents play a number of special roles within the family. To honor grandparents, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day in 1978. This year, Grandparents Day is September 10th. It’s a great opportunity to remember and celebrate grandparents.
I consider grandparents to be a gift to my family. Growing up, I was lucky to have one set of grandparents in my hometown. My family lived out in the country and my grandparents lived in town, so their house was like our second home between activities or after school. Spending time with them was just part of our daily routine. We even had all the locks keyed the same so there was only one house key for both places. Although it seemed completely normal to me then, I can see now how unique that was.
We ate many evening meals together, usually some sort of “hotdish” (I’m a MN girl!), and there was always some sort of baked treat around. My grandfather was ready at a moment’s notice to come pick me up from school or a friend’s house. One phone call and his response was, “Yep, I’ll be right there.” My grandmother baked a lot and was a big cake maker, so there was usually frosting stored in the refrigerator which paired perfectly as a topping for either graham or buttery crackers. I just realized that is a delicacy my children have yet to experience. I just don’t have frosting on hand!
My dear grandmother is still going strong at age 90. She is living independently and it is such a blessing to be able to give her a call. I can now even text a photo of the great-grandchildren to her on her first ever cell phone! When we chat, she shares the events of her days which usually include some sewing project, crocheting, and still always baking some type of treat to share with her neighbors.
If your children have been able to get to know all of your grandparents, cherish that! If not, what are some of your favorite memories of your grandparents you could share with your kids?
How to Spend Grandparents Day
- Send a handmade card in the mail. Many times grandparents love to receive a special token of appreciation. If you have a child who is old enough to write, have them include a written note or letter about what they’ve been doing lately.
- Schedule a virtual or in-person visit. Do something together via video like play a game, ask for a special lesson on a craft, baking, or other activity “together.” Is there a special hobby that could be shared?
- Deliver a special gift. If they’re within driving distance, take a trip to drop a gift on their doorstep. If you live far away, arrange for some flowers to be delivered.
- Participate in a Grandparents Day event. Many schools or children’s centers have a special activity or visit day planned to honor grandparents or special family friends.
- Make a phone call. Simply have your kids let their grandparents know they are special to them. You could also have the grandparent share a story of their childhood and record it for family history!
Remember a Grandparent Who Has Passed
- Create a Scrapbook. Take out some old photos or jot down some favorite memories and put in a book you and your children can look back on from time-to-time.
- Light a Candle. This is a special way to symbolize the memory of a loved one while sharing some favorite stories.
- Visit the Cemetery. If you are able, use this as a time to bring a wreath or some other symbol of appreciation to a grave site.
- Make a special dinner. If you have favorite family recipes that you save for holidays, maybe this is a great day to pull them out with photos of the grandparents and talk about what it was like during family meals in the past.
It doesn’t matter if you plan a big celebration for Grandparents Day or just some quiet time together. Grandparents will still appreciate hearing from you and spending time with you. What really matters most is that you care enough to mark the day and make the most of the time you have together.
What are some ways you will be celebrating Grandparents Day? Let us know!