As we say goodbye to summer, the first holiday on the calendar is Grandparents Day—a day set aside to honor the pillars of our families who not only raised the next generation, but love nothing more than spoiling their grandchildren. However, Grandparents Day gives those grandchildren an opportunity to flip the script and shower their grandparents with much-appreciated love and attention.
This time-honored holiday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day, which is September 10th this year. It is an occasion to recognize and appreciate the invaluable contributions of the older generation, so mark your calendars and take note of the following ideas about how to make it extra special in 2023.
History of Grandparents Day
Let’s first address the origins of Grandparents Day, which started with Marian McQuade in the early 1970s—a West Virginian woman who recognized the need to strengthen the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. She thought a dedicated day would ensure that the wisdom and heritage of older generations would be preserved, so she tirelessly advocated for the creation of a special day to honor grandparents.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The intention was to set aside a public holiday not only for celebrating grandparents, but also for fostering intergenerational connections. Since then, Grandparents Day has been an opportunity for families to come together and celebrate the legacies of their elders.
An Unexpected Benefit of Grandparents Day
As Grandparents Day became cemented in U.S. tradition, it became clear that it served another purpose beyond intergenerational connections. It’s no secret that as time progresses, family dynamics change. Children grow up, establish their own families, and become preoccupied with the demands of daily life. Unfortunately, this can lead to a sense of isolation for many older adults who begin to feel left out of the festivities and gatherings that were once central to their own lives. Grandparents Day began to offer a chance to bridge this gap and rekindle those connections that are so vital for the emotional well-being of our elders.
Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day
This Grandparents Day, consider making a lasting impression by celebrating in a thoughtful and creative way that will both surprise and delight your grandparents.
- Family Picnic: Organize a relaxed outdoor gathering at home or your favorite park, where you can come together with your grandparents to share stories, play games, and enjoy each other’s company.
- Favorite Restaurant: Treat your grandparents to a meal at their favorite restaurant. Encourage reminiscing about the past and sharing their life experiences.
- Volunteer Together: Spend time volunteering with your grandparents at their favorite organization or charity, whether the local soup kitchen or at the hospital raising the spirits of patients. This not only gives back to the community but also creates lasting memories.
- School Visit: If your children are in school, invite your grandparents to read a book to their class as the popular “mystery reader”. It’s a heartwarming experience that connects generations while making grandchildren proud.
Timeless Gift Idea
There is another gift idea that will hold tremendous sentimental value for grandparents, that will be cherished forever. Consider creating a digitized video that compiles all the old home movies and photos from your years growing up, as well as their years so far with their grandchildren. This thoughtful gesture not only reflects the passage of time but also captures family bonds and shared experiences across generations—generations for which they are responsible. Watching these memories come to life can be an emotional and heartwarming experience for grandparents, as many of those moments were probably long forgotten.
To make this treasured gift happen, seek the services of a professional digitization company like iMemories. They have a professional team of experts who will take your old film reels, VHS tapes, slides, negatives and photo prints, and digitize them for viewing on any device. Grandparents can even download the iMemories SmartTV app and watch the memories right on their television from the comfort of their couch.
As the world evolves and generations move forward, it’s important to honor the older generation that is responsible for your family being what they are today. Grandparents Day is more than just a date on the calendar. It’s a reminder to treasure the connections that transcend time. This year, take the time to celebrate grandparents and show them how grateful you are for your relationship.