Celebrating Grandparents –
This Sunday, we celebrate an overlooked, but wonderful holiday – National Grandparents Day. Celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day, the holiday was created to remind grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage their grandparents provide.
Many of us are separated from grandparents or grandchildren, and it’s difficult to keep the lines of communication open. I am so thankful for the relationship that our children have with their grandparents, but it requires commitment and intentionality from both sides to nurture those long term relationships.
Busy schedules, and distances often get in the way of nurturing these times together, but don’t let “best intentions” rob the opportunity we have to honor the grandparents still in your life.
By taking just a few minutes to reach out, you will bless them in ways never imagined. For some, this may be an emotional decision, but even one small phone call can speak volumes and mend bridges that may, or may not, be unintentional.
Celebrate the holiday this weekend with some of these simple ideas and traditions that your children can do with their grandparents.
Do You Know Your Family’s Story: Interview
One is to complete a grandparent interview with a variety of questions. What were your parents like? Describe your childhood? What were your goals and aspirations? What advice do you want to pass onto your children and grandchildren?
This will give your children a chance to see how the world has changed since their grandparents were young, plus give your parents an opportunity to share stories. Capture this on video and you will have a priceless family keepsake that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
We have had some wonderful opportunities to do this over the last few years, and it’s been such an incredibly meaningful time. I outlined a special time in my “Do you know your family story?” post.
Favorite Things to Do – Start a new tradition for Grandparent’s Day by taking photos of the grandchildren doing something Grandpa and/or Grandma love to do (gardening, playing cards, golfing, baking pies, dancing, etc.). Take that same photo every year, and keep them in chronological order in a Grandparent’s Day photo album. This will become a favorite tradition everyone looks forward to and a wonderful way to build a legacy of love.
Promises to Grandma and Grandpa – Find a glass or plastic jar and have your children decorate it with construction paper and stickers, or a strip of fabric/leather. Then, have each child write on pieces of construction paper some things they could help their grandparent’s do in the upcoming weeks: “I will help you rake the leaves” or “I will help you clean up the garage.” Give the rewards jar to them as a gift on Grandparent’s Day. This teaches children the virtue of helping others, which is sometimes the most valuable gift of all.
If you are close by, it might be as simple as sharing a container of your favorite frozen cookie dough and attaching a note with a running list of all the “sweet” things they have done.
If your grandparents live far away, take the opportunity to let them know you’re thinking of them by filling a large manilla envelope with some special “Just because” notes. This is a perfect place some of the many “masterpieces” your kids make, but they don’t want you to throw away. They grandparents will cherish it forever. 🙂
Do you have Grandparents still in your Life?
Honestly, this is a day that often sneaks by me, but prioritizing it is my desire. One never knows how much time we have left to cherish these multigenerational times together.
(Last Friday, after our son’s football game, both grandfathers were together for the first time in years and years.
We captured this special photo that will sure to be a treasure. )