Celebrate the Grandparents in Your Life

By Christine J. Flores, CBA

I feel blessed to have grown up knowing grandparents on both sides of my family, as well as great-grandparents.  My sister and I were the apples of our grandparents’ eyes!  So it seems fitting that a Grandparents Day be established.

National Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day.  This year, the date falls on September 10.  This is a day dedicated to our grandparents.  Grandparents and children have a special connection which has been shown to make grandparents live longer and to make children more emotionally resilient.  For many, it is a chance to celebrate intergenerational connections with friends as well as family members.

Grandparents Day got started when nine-year-old Russell Capper sent President Nixon a letter suggesting a day be set aside to celebrate grandparents.  On June 12, 1969, Russell received a letter back from President Nixon’s personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, which read:

“Dear Russell,

Thank you for your letter to President Nixon.   Your suggestion regarding a Grandparent’s Day is appreciated, but the President ordinarily issues proclamations designating periods for special observance only when a Congressional resolution authorizes him to do so.

With best wishes.


Rose Mary Woods
Personal Secretary to the President

After this letter, Marian McQuade was recognized nationally by the U.S. Senate and by President Jimmy Carter as the founder of National Grandparents Day.  McQuade’s intent was to educate the youth about the importance of the contributions seniors have made throughout history.  In 1977 Senator Randolph, along with other senators, introduced a joint resolution to the senate requesting the President to annually issue a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September following Labor Day as National Grandparents’ Day.  Congress passed the legislation and on August 3, 1978, President Carter signed the proclamation, and the day was finally celebrated in 1979.  Many other countries around the world celebrate Grandparents Day.

There is no wrong way to celebrate the seniors in your life – whether they be grandparents, grandaunts, or the lady down the street.  And you don’t have to wait for Grandparents’ Day.  Here are a few ideas to consider at any time:

  • Read a book or play a board game with your grandparents or other seniors
  • Cook a meal together
  • Do an arts and crafts activity. Maybe Grandma can teach you something new.
  • Handwritten notes, hand-drawn pictures, and photographs are sure to bring a smile to Grandpa’s face!
  • Ask the Grands in your life to tell their story. If they have a photo album to show, so much the better.

For more ideas on how to bond with the Grands in your life, visit www.grandparentsday.org or www.nationaltoday.com/grandparents-day/


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