Grandparents: they spoil us, they love us, they cherish us in a way that only parents of parents can. If you are lucky enough to have grandparents in your life, or if your children are, remember to thank them and show them your appreciation on Grandparents Day.
Grandparents Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of September: if you get stuck, just remember 3 S’s. We can thank Marian McQuade of West Virginia for this special day: she is considered the founder of National Grandparents Day and her goal was to teach younger generations about the contributions of senior citizens to society. She tirelessly contacted senators, representatives, and governors, and within 3 years, she had resolutions from 43 states proclaiming a Grandparents Day. The US Congress finally issued a National Day, recognizing Ms. McQuade’s work.
And yes, she was a grandmother! Marian had 15 children, 43 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren – all of whom are sure to remember their great matriarch on Grandparent’s Day! What do hard-working grannies, grams, grammas, grandpas, gramps, and pops want for this special day?
- A handmade gift or gift basket. While grandparents likely don’t want more dust-collecting knick-knacks, they love items that their little loved ones make. Use photos that grandparents do not already have and turn them into coasters. They are useful – and adorable! You could also use a print service to have a photo of your children put onto a reusable cloth grocery bag, apron, or other item that will be used again and again.
- Photos. Grandmas and grandpas love them – and they love to show them off. Create wallet-sized photos, wallet-sized art, and prints of the most recent shots of their grandchildren. One great idea is to have children spell out, “I love Grandma/Grandpa,” with items from nature (such as leaves, sticks, and pinecones or written in sand, and then take a photo with the kids in back of the message. If Grandma and Grandpa have gone digital, give them a CD as well as printed copies.
- Hobby gifts. If your grandfather loves to walk, for instance, get him a pedometer to help him keep track of his miles or a heart rate monitor so he can stay in the burn zone (or stay out of the burn zone). If your grandparents love to garden, get them some new tools, knee pads, or gloves. Whatever their hobby, help them enjoy it a bit more.
- A homemade card. Sometimes, the simplest gifts are the most treasured. Browse online to find inspiration, print out a free template, or just let your imagination go free. Take the time to write a personal message to the special recipients.
- Custom calendar. You can select photos and have a service like Shutterfly print a custom calendar for you, or you could go the DIY route. To do this, simply find calendar templates (for the next year) and print. Look here for great templates. Choose one that has a blank space at the top or bottom and decorate it with family photos, drawings, stickers, glitter, and whatever the grandparents will like. This way, they have a new picture to look forward to every month, and every time they consult the calendar, they remember their precious grandchildren.
- Time. If you can, arrange time that you or your children can spend time with the grandparents. Often, going to an event, eating a meal, or just chatting can be just what Grandma or Grandpa wants. Bring or make a special dish (that meets their dietary requirements) and treat them like royalty.
Marian McQuade didn’t push for Grandparents Day because she wanted expensive grandparents day gifts – or any gifts at all. She wanted seniors to be recognized and honored by younger generations, and showing your grandparents your appreciation is the best way to do that. You can do this with a store-purchased gift or a homemade craft; the only requirement is that you do it with love.