From extra sugar (literally – and also kisses if you’re from the South) and relaxed rules to always having a wise perspective and someone on your side, grandmothers and grandfathers often hold a very dear place in our hearts. My husband and I are very fortunate that our children not only have amazing grandparents that love them (and us) so well, but they also have two great-grandmothers that absolutely spoil and love them, too.
Here are my grandparents with me in 1986, and meeting my first child in 2016.
It is only fitting that these treasured family members have their own holiday, and Grandparent’s Day is always celebrated the Sunday following Labor Day in September. It even has an official flower, the appropriately appointed “forget-me-not.” This year, it falls on September 8, and here are a few ways to celebrate grandparents both near and far:
Cards, key-chains, and bookmarks – oh my! There are literally hundreds of DIY craft ideas that are both cute and fun to make. The great thing about grandparents is that it doesn’t have to be Pinterest-perfect for them to love it, so head to the craft store or scavenge for materials outdoors and let your kids have some freedom with their imagination (in a well-covered, protected area, of course). Not fully committed to DIY? Look for local studios where you can create handmade gifts and skip the mess at home.
There are so many ways to take an ordinary item and put a personal touch on it that is sure to warm hearts. Something as simple as a piece of jewelry, a handkerchief, or a map can be a unique, sentimental offering.
Does your grandmother or grandfather enjoy gardening? Grandparents definitely help us “grow” (sorry, I couldn’t help it), so a flower or plant can also be a thoughtful gift. An incredibly-cute and unapologetically pun-filled plant holder can be the perfect reminder of how much they mean to you.
Photos are always a welcomed gift. With so many sites offering a multitude of design options, creating and sending a personalized photo gift is as easy as a few clicks. Presenting photos of you together or a large print of one of their vintage photos can be a touching memento. If you want to provide an additional charming element, include a note describing why you love the photo or something you remember about it.
Grandparent’s Day Party:
Who doesn’t like a good party? It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just a time set aside to do something fun together.
You could enjoy a movie-viewing party with ALL THE SNACKS like the good ‘ol days. Watch a classic movie they love, or re-watch one you once saw together. My grandmother and I used to watch The Wizard of Oz on repeat, and I still feel the sweetest flood of nostalgia when I see clips of it.
A tea party with china and linens that otherwise do not see much use can also be fun. Dress up in something fancy and discover some local treats together. There’s something truly special about having the opportunity to use family things and sit together at the table to connect.
Maybe your grandparent loves to cook or bake. A recipe party can be the perfect time to practice one of their favorite family recipes, or try a new one together. Food definitely has a way of bringing people together, and what better way to celebrate someone’s talent than learning it and being able to pass it down.
Simply Talk with Them:
It’s always fun to learn something new about someone, and one sweet way to show appreciation is to conduct an interview. We often just regard them as our parent’s parents, forgetting that our grandparents have lived full lives that are often fascinating. They may not have previously shared certain interesting details simply because no one has asked. Make a list of questions and set aside time to talk with them. You may be surprised to find that they have a hidden talent or were once a prankster.
Grandparent’s Day isn’t just a day to celebrate our loved ones. It is an opportunity for us to learn more, reminisce, and teach our children about who they are and where they came from. I’d love to hear how you celebrate as well!