This year, National Grandparents Day, which is observed by millions of people throughout the United States, will be celebrated on September 7th. This holiday was originally created to encourage grandchildren to focus on the wisdom and heritage that their grandparents could provide. This holiday is a perfect chance for everyone to show grandparents how much they are truly appreciated. Grandparents Day is all about the family. Just like each family is different, there are a wide variety of ways to celebrate this special day. Below, I have included several suggestions.
-This is a great time to go through and update old photos in family albums or to even create/fill in the family tree. This can be done beforehand and presented as a special gift or it can be done along with the grandparents. Many elderly people love to remember happy times as they take a “stroll down memory lane”. This can also be a great bonding time for the various generations. To make this time extra special, consider taking new photos and/or videotaping the experience.
-Grandparent’s Day is also a wonderful time for the various generations to learn from each other. Is there a special skill (i.e. unique cooking recipes) that can be passed down? Are their other skills (i.e. new dance moves) that can be passed “up”?
-Grandparent’s Day falls on a Sunday this year. Why not take the grandparents out to a special brunch before or after taking a special family portrait together?
-Grandparents (both those who are local and those who live far away) appreciate thoughtful cards and gifts. Here are some gift suggestions:
• Flowers are always a great way to share your appreciation. Think about what type of flowers (plants/etc.) the recipients really like – don’t immediately go straight for the roses.
• Personalized gifts are a special and unique way to honor others. Jewelry, family trees, tees, mugs, figurines, photos, homemade cards, etc. are good starter ideas.
• Books, especially those with large print or the audio version are thoughtful presents.
• Since many of the elderly are around the home a lot, think of ways to make their time at home more comfortable and pampering. Robes, slippers, pajamas, lounging clothes, and spa sets are some terrific picks.
• Grandparents still want to have fun! Game gifts (especially ones that help improve the memory and/or increase physical activity such as Wii Sports) help to meet that need.
-Lastly, if your kids don’t have living grandparents (or have extra love to share!), consider “adopting” a grandparent. There are so many lonely elderly people in various housing facilities (neighbors, nursing homes, etc.) who would love to be included in this special day.
Most of all do your best to share your love and respect for the elderly in your lives on this special day!