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National Grandparents Day – September 13

Sunday, September 13, 2020 is National Grandparents Day!

Celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day – Grandparents Day can be a time to remember and/or spend some time with a little bit of your family’s history.

What a great time to celebrate your grandparents, whether they are here with you or not. Remembering them and their contributions to your family is a wonderful way to celebrate who you are today.

Marian McQuade championed for the holiday for years and she finally saw it passed by Congress in 1978 when she was in her 60’s. She is the founder of Grandparents Day.

“So many of these people are shut up and neglected, even though they have grandchildren living,” Marian later said. “I thought maybe if we had a Grandparents Day, some [residents] would get the love and attention they need so badly.” – grandparenteffect.com

What a wonderful legacy she was able to leave (she lived to be 91) the world and to so many people, young and old.

The purpose of the holiday, as stated in the preamble to the statute, is “to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.” – verywellfamily.com

Ideas On How To Celebrate National Grandparents Day

1. Learn Something From Them

If your grandmother can make an amazing apple pie – why not make one with her and learn how she does it. Or maybe your grandfather was a financial planner, spend some time learning about managing your own finances from him.

Whatever your grandparent is skilled at or has spent a lifetime learning – why not take the “free course” that they can offer you?

2. Go To Where They’ve Been

Perhaps your grandparent(s) have traveled extensively or have lived in several places. They why not travel to those places with them – virtually.

Take trips via Google Earth to where they grew up, where they got married, where they were during a war or their first job, etc.

It’s a great way to not only learn about the life your grandparent(s) lead but also a little bit about history and what the world they grew up in was like.

Their experiences and lessons learned could help you in your own life.

3. Unite Through Music

Just about everyone loves music and of course, we all love (for the most part) the music that we grew up with.

Your grandparent(s) are no different.

Spend some time listening to the music they grew up (via CD’s or Youtube) and they may give you some stories surrounding that time in their life.

And who knows, you may find out that you really like some of their old time favorites.

4. Virtual Get Togethers

We can’t always be physically with our grandparent(s) but these days – there’s always a virtual way to do it.

Hopefully, your grandparents have Amazon’s Echo Show which makes it much easier for them to communicate with you (and vice versa). It’s not as complicated to use as Zoom or Skype.

If they don’t – well – now’s a good time to gift it to them.

5. Begin A New Tradition

Give your grandparent(s) the ultimate gift – the gift of your time on a regular basis.

Set up a weekly meetup with them. It could be just an hour out of your day or going out to lunch or coffee, whatever it is. For your grandparents, knowing that you are coming for a visit every Tuesday afternoon (as an example) can be a truly wonderful gift.

6. Make A Video

Years ago when my in-laws were in their mid to late 80’s, my husband decided to make a video interviewing them.  The idea was to ask them questions about their lives and perhaps to learn something about them that he didn’t know.

It truly worked, he learned more about his parents from those interviews than he had learned in 50 years!

So go ahead, put together a series of questions and turn on that video camera (or cell phone) and begin the interview. 

You may learn some amazing stories about your family, past and present.

7) Introduce Your Grandparents To Your Life

Take your grandparent(s) with you on a typical day.  Running errands, working at home or just visiting some of your favorite places.

Sharing your world with your grandparent(s) can help them to understand what your life is like, what you are being exposed to and the joys and stresses that you go through on a regular basis.

Take them to your favorite coffee shop (if it’s safe these days due to Covid-19) or to your favorite park. 

Even if you’re just staying home to stay safe, having them there with you to share in your day – can be of great benefit to you and to them.

8) Scrapbooking Can Be An Ongoing Project

It takes time and energy to put together a proper scrapbook – especially when you have lived so many years.

So gather the supplies and start going through all those boxes of photos with your grandparent(s) and jot down the stories associated with them. 

I did this with my mother just before she passed away and it was so joyful to see her tell me all the stories of her family in Italy – people I never met but somehow have a connection with. 

9) Remembering Your Grandparents

If your grandparents have passed away – then National Grandparents Day is a wonderful time to take a few moments to remember them.  Just some ideas are…

  • Go through some photos of them and their lives
  • Spend time with your parents to talk about their parents
  • Light a candle in their honor (maybe say a prayer)
  • Talk to your children about your grandparents

All in all – if you are lucky enough to have your grandparent(s) here with you, then make an effort to spend time with them, learn from them and about them.  In some way, they have contributed to who you are today and a great way to becoming a better person is to understand where you came from.

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