How To Celebrate Grandparents’ Day
National Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 13th. It is an officially recognized national holiday like Mother’s and Father’s Day. It’s a day set aside to encourage families to visit and honor their grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed into law this national holiday. Grandparents.com tells the story of how it came about. This day often gets forgotten and yet it can be a memorable way to teach children how to celebrate and show appreciation to an older generation.
There are more grandparents today than ever before. People are living beyond the age of 65 and for the first time in history, people age 65 and older will outnumber children under age five. Many generational connections can be made and now is your chance to do something grand to show your grandparents how much they mean to you.
There is an increasing need for assisted living and nursing homes as people live longer and are not able to care for themselves. This can be challenging in the way you celebrate with grandparents who are in these facilities.
5 Ways To Celebrate Grandparents
… in a Nursing Facility
- Visit! This may be the hardest one for many. It isn’t always easy to see your loved ones in a nursing home. Heartbreaking would be a better word. The elderly are very lonely. The only people some of them see are their caretakers. Taking your children to visit their great-grandparents or even grandparents models empathy.
- Participate in an activity at the facility with your loved one. Again, this takes time and effort, but it means so much to them if you do something together. Remembering old times together can lift their spirits.
- Bring a basket full of their favorite goodies. Always check with the staff to be sure no dietary guidelines or restrictions have been put in place.
- Take them out for a few hours for lunch, dinner, ice cream or even some shopping if they are able to do so. If not, visiting outdoors in the fresh air at the facility can be a nice change. Another alternative if they are not allowed out is to bring in a picnic style meal to share together.
- Send a card or drawings from the whole family. This is all that is needed if one lives too far away for a visit. Better yet, if possible, have a phone call to chat.
… Who Live Far Away
- With all the technology we have available today, it is easier than ever to stay connected. On Grandparents Day, FaceTime, Skype, or use whatever method you have to visibly see each other. Schedule a time when each family member is available for a phone call or for screen time. Spend this time chatting together, and remember to say “Happy Grandparents Day.”
- Have you heard of Adobe Slate? It is an app that allows you to create and share visual stories. Nina at Grandma Ideas gives a demonstration on how it works for her. This is something older children can get involved in.
- Have your children send some of their schoolwork to their grandparents for them to hang up and display. They’re not able to be a part of the everyday happenings so this can be one way to make them feel included.
- Send flowers, edible arrangements, a book, or gift cards to where your grandparents like to shop or something you know they would enjoy. Include your children in helping shop and pick out something so they are included in the process.
- Write a love letter expressing what they mean to you. An old-fashioned, handwritten letter, stamp and all. Snail mail! Insert updated photos of the family. Don’t wait to tell them what they mean to you.
… Who Live Locally
- Invite them over for a special dinner in your home. Include the children, if possible, to help in the preparation. Children love to say, “Grammie, I made that for you.”
- Spend the day doing something your grandparents enjoy. A simple board game, playing cards or helping in their garden or backyard can be the only gift they need. You may not enjoy it, but it isn’t about you, it is about them.
- Take them shopping and purchase something they wouldn’t ordinarily buy for themselves. Many elderly people are on a fixed income and splurging on themselves is just not in the budget.
- Afternoon tea anyone? Taking a break, if feasible, to have an afternoon tea and looking at old pictures can be a great way to go down memory lane together. Who doesn’t enjoy looking at baby pictures!
- Acknowledge the day! Remember to let them know they’re thought of on Grandparents Day.
Grandparents want to be remembered. As life gets busier and grandchildren get older, grandparents are often the first to be forgotten. Grandparents Day is a reminder to savor the time spent with those we love and remember to let them know how much they mean to us. Before it’s too late!
Tags: celebrate, celebrations, children, daily grandparent, DIY cards, family, Gifts for Grandparents, gifts for the elderly, grammie time, grandchildren, grandkids, grandma, grandpa, grandparents, grandparents day, holidays, kids, nursing homes, nurture, parenting, quality time, shop
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Michelle lives in North Carolina with her husband of 29 years. She is a mother to three grown daughters and “Grammie” to her two grandchildren. She teaches transitional kindergarten by day and blogs at Grammie Time by night. Spending time and making memories with her grandchildren is an investment she makes a priority.