This year, National Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 10th. Learn more about the history of this nostalgic holiday and ways to celebrate it.
History of National Grandparents Day
Marian McQuade, from Oak Hill, West Virginia, is credited with founding the celebration. McQuade envisioned a day where young people can reflect on the positive contributions senior citizens make to society. She took her idea to Congress and had her friend Cynthia Bennett write letters asking for the holiday’s verification.
In 1973 a resolution was introduced to the Senate by Senator Jennings Randolph. It aimed to make Grandparents Day a national holiday. The proposal cited Virginia as an example of a state that had already started to celebrate the holiday because of McQuade and Bennett’s actions. The legislation, unfortunately, did not pass.
McQuade took immediate action. In three years time, she established the holiday in forty-three states. When she was done, she sent each of the states’ proclamations to Senator Randolph. He then re-wrote a joint resolution to nationalize the holiday. The resolution passed successfully! The official proclamation that created National Grandparents Day was signed by President Jimmy Carter on August 3, 1978.
Ways to Celebrate National Grandparents Day
Now that you know the holiday’s history, here are some suggestions for how to celebrate it.
- Plant a forget-me-not. These beautiful purple flowers are an emblem of the holiday. Additionally, you can give one to a deserving senior citizen as a gift!
- Write a thank-you note to your grandparents. If you knew them or they have positively impacted your life, write to them! Acknowledge their wisdom and patience, and express the gratitude you feel for having known them.
- Volunteer at a nursing home or retirement community. Many people who reside in these institutions love meeting new people. Some enjoy doing crafts, reading and playing games with young children. If you have a child, bring them along too. Furthermore, they make excellent conversationalists. This will be an enjoyable learning experience for everyone involved!
- Pick up the phone. While face to face is always the desired form of communications, you may not live close to your grandparents. However, this shouldn’t stop you from letting them know that you’re thinking about them. Give them a call!
- Reminisce with family members. Many people’s grandparents aren’t around anymore, but their legacies are not forgotten. Share stories with a family member about the special memories you made together when your grandparents were alive.
We hope these ideas sparked some inspiration for you. Happy National Grandparents Day!
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