On the Sunday following Labor Day, National Grandparents Day, September 6, 2021, honors the love only grandparents can provide.
Grandparents and their grandchildren share a special bond. These hugging, caring and patient people in the lives of children offer more than a generous dose of love. Grandparents provide an abundance of wisdom. They also offer guidance and stability.
When grandchildren need a story, grandparents tell the best. A grandparent’s wealth of family history and lore offers lessons of their own. Through humorous stories and some serious ones, grandparents gently point grandchildren in the right direction.
In 2004, the National Grandparents Day Council of Chula Vista, California announced a song for the day. A Song for Grandma and Grandpa by Johnny Prill became the official song of the United States National Grandparents Day holiday. The Council presented Prill with the National Songwriter’s Award for his song, too.
The forget-me-not is the official flower for National Grandparents Day.
As the number of grandparents grows from 65 million in 2011 to 80 million in 2020, expect the observance to increase in significance, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalGrandparentsDay
While we have our grandparents in our lives, it is important to cherish them. Spend time with your grandparents. Learn about their life and ask questions to keep the stories coming. Do the things they enjoy doing. Sometimes, they only want to spend time with you.
How else can you celebrate the day?
- Pick up the phone! Surprise your grandparents with a much-awaited phone conversation.
- Take your grandparents on an adventure. Plan a day doing their favorite things – one of which is probably spending time with you.
- Write a letter to your grandparents. Share with them the things you’ve been doing. They will read your letter over and over.
- Learn something from a grandparent. Have you always wanted to know how to make Grandma’s pecan pie or catch a whopper from the river? Grandma or Grandpa will probably show you how. You only need to ask.
- Help them out. Clean out a flower bed. Take out the trash. Mow the lawn. Paint a room. Fix the internet. Run an errand. The list goes on.
- Take a photo. Sometimes we forget to capture moments with the people we love the most. Take a photo with your grandparent and make sure they get a copy.
- Speaking of photos, spend some time looking through old photos with your grandparents. Ask them questions about the people in them and record the information.
- Adopt a grandparent. As surprising as it may seem, there are some of our older generations who have no grandchildren. However, they still have love and wisdom to share.
If you no longer have living grandparents, share a fond memory of them. Remember something each of them taught you or one of the fun things you used to do. You can also write down your memories to share with future generations.
Use #NationalGrandparentsDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL GRANDPARENTS DAY HISTORY
Celebrated in the United States since 1978, the United States Senate and President Jimmy Carter nationally recognized Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia as the founder of National Grandparents Day. McQuade made it her goal to educate the youth in the community about the significant contributions that seniors have made throughout history. It was also her hope to have the youth “adopt” a grandparent, not just for one day or a year, but rather for a lifetime.
The Joint Resolution
In February of 1977, Senator Randolph along with the concurrence of other senators introduced a joint resolution to the Senate. The resolution requested the president to “issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as National Grandparents Day.” After Congress passed the resolution, on August 3, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. The statute cites the day’s purpose: “…to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”
Others claim the origin of this holiday resides with the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna of North Syracuse, New York. She recognized seniors and their importance as early as 1961. New York Congressman James T. Walsh awarded her efforts on February 21, 1990, in front of the United States House of Representatives. He also thanked Hermine Beckett Hanna “for her important role in the establishment of Grandparents Day.”