Grandparents Day – What is the True Meaning of a Grandparent?
This coming Sunday is Grandparent’s Day – one of the lesser known yet very important holidays to celebrate. After all, when a person has the presence of a good grandparent throughout their childhood, it provides them with countless benefits while helping to shape who they become as an adult.
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the positive impact that a grandparent has on their grandchild? Grandparents day offers the chance to do this and more, celebrating the relationship between grandparent and grandchild while encouraging us to connect with our beloved elders on the special day.
Of course, like many public holidays, an air of skepticism has risen around Grandparents Day. Many think it’s just another made up holiday invented by marketers to try and sell more cards, flowers, and chocolates.
Yet Grandparents Day is much more than this! Let’s take a look at the origin of Grandparents day and how it remains an important holiday worth celebrating every year.
The Origin of Grandparents Day
Celebrated the Sunday after Labor Day each year, Grandparents Day is a national holiday that was founded all the way back in 1956 by Marian McQuade.
A native of West Virginia, McQuade came up with the idea of Grandparents Day one day after helping her local elderly community. She noted that many of the elderly people living in care homes rarely spoke or saw their families, despite most having lots of grandchildren they cared deeply for.
This is sadly a trend that many of us still see today!
She decided a holiday like Grandparents Day was the perfect opportunity raise awareness for the elderly people in her community and all around the country, encouraging the different generations of families to reconnect and to pay homage to all the grandparents out there.
By 1973 Grandparents Day was celebrated throughout West Virginia, eventually becoming a national holiday by 1978.
The Important of Grandparents Day – Celebrating the True Purpose of a Grandparents
Those of us lucky enough to have a grandparent present in our childhood will greatly benefit from it. Grandparents offer unconditional love to a grandchild – anyone that’s been spoiled rotten by a grandparent will know this all too well – and their love is very straight-forward and free from complexities.
The love a grandparent offers will give a child a great sense of security, offer them someone else to confide in, and gives the chance to learn from an older generation. You learn about life, love, and everything in-between from someone that done it all themselves.
Sitting back and hearing a grandparent’s stories will teach kids about their family history and heritage, while encouraging a younger generation to respect traditions that can often be lost over the years.
Grandparents offer love, support, and guidance that has a lasting impact on their grandchild – this is certainly something worth celebrating not just on Grandparents Day but every day!
How to Best Celebrate Grandparents Day
We don’t get to have our grandparents forever, which is why it’s always important to make the most of the time that we do. What better day to show your love and respect for a grandparent than by taking the kids to visit them?
The truth is that taking the kids to see their grandparents will probably be more than enough for them, especially if you live further apart. You don’t even need to stay there, as sometimes giving your parents or in-laws some alone time with the grandkids makes the time more meaningful.
Let them tell their stories, play some puzzle games, or have a nice meal together – anything to help engage your kids with their grandparents is time well spent.
Don’t worry about buying cards, flowers, or fancy gifts either – a homemade card from the kids will be more treasured than anything you buy from the store.
One thing that you can give them is your gratitude. Thank them for being there for you and the kids (maybe get the kids to say something similar if they are old enough to understand). It’s easy to forget to express our love and gratitude over the year, so make a note to say it on Grandparents Day.
Here are some cool ideas for other stuff that you and the kids can do to celebrate Grandparents Day:
Create a Photo Album: What better way to get the kids curiosity about their grandparent’s lives than creating a photo album? The kids can look at photos from their grandparent’s youth and hear all kinds of cool stories about their lives. You can even get the kids to take some selfies with their grandparents to add to the photo album.
Have a Day Out – There’s no reason to stay indoors on Grandparent Day, as the whole family can have a fun day out! Go to the zoo, catch a movie, grab a bite to eat, visit the beach; do anything that will give you all a chance to connect and have fun.
Dig Out the Board Games: Generational gaps are sometimes tough to bridge, which is why old-fashioned fun like boardgames and card games can help kids connect with their grandparents. Simply hanging around having fun and laughing as you play some old board games will give everyone some memories to cherish.
Make an Effort Even if You Can’t Visit: Not everyone can visit the grandparents on this holiday but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them. Phone calls are a good choice while doing a video call via Facebook or Skype (should your parents know how to use these) will give them a chance to see and chat with the kids even when separate by long distances.