Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day - Friday, September 13, 2024

Relationship Family

On the first Sunday after Labor Day we celebrate National Grandparents Day. This year the date falls on September 13. Like Mother’s day and Father’s day we also have a whole day dedicated to our grandparents. Grandparents and children have a special connection that is proven to both make grandparents live longer, and also make children more emotionally resilient. Grandparents Day is an opportunity to treasure that connection and spend some quality family time together. 

Our grandparents play a huge role in our lives. They are at the top of our family trees. They provide us with guidance and wisdom, and a lot of us have fond memories of bedtime stories and family occasions with our grandparents. Grandparent’s Day provides us with the perfect opportunity to honor our grandmothers and grandfathers. Read on to discover everything you need to know. 

Learn about Grandparent’s Day

Grandparents come in all shapes and sizes; you have paternal grandparents, step-grandparents, and those grandparents that are not blood-related but hold a very special place in your heart. All of these grandparents have one thing in common, and this is the happiness that they experience knowing that they can support their grandchildren. 

Grandparent’s Day is a day that is dedicated to celebrating and acknowledging the vital contribution that our grandparents make when it comes to the education and well-being of younger people within the family. This is the perfect day for us all to show our respect and gratitude for the older generating, honoring our grandparents – everything they do and everything that they stand for. 

It is so important to make sure that we acknowledge this date. Grandparent’s Day is the perfect opportunity for children to be more aware of the different ways that grandparents influence their education and emotional development. It is a great time for people to reflect on the guidance they have gotten from older generations and to show their appreciation for this. 

It is also crucial to consider the fact that grandparents can feel lonely when they get older, especially when they live on their own. This is why it is important to let your grandparents know how loved and appreciated they are. Simply checking in with your grandparents now and again to make sure that they are doing okay is going to make a massive difference. We know it can be difficult when you have a lot of priorities, but try to make that time!

History of Grandparent’s Day

Grandchildren are a grandparent’s link to the future. Grandparents are the child’s link to the past.

The inspiration behind Grandparent’s Day was Marian McQuade. She instigated a campaign in the early 1970s aimed at highlighting the plight of lonely elderly people in care homes and encouraging grandchildren to take advantage of the wisdom and guidance their grandparents could provide.

This blossomed into the event known today, which is held each year to both honor grandparents and let them show their love for their grandchildren. It also aims to continue Marian’s original idea of an older generation’s knowledge being passed on to youngsters.

Grandparent’s Day is now celebrated all over the world! After all, it does not matter where you come from, what your religion is, or what culture you are a part of, we all recognize the important role that our grandparents play. 

How to celebrate Grandparent’s Day

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the day, with the official website providing plenty of ideas. This includes youngsters learning about their grandparent’s heritage and history or making family trees. Families can simply spend time together to listen to their elderly relative’s stories and youngsters can volunteer to spend part of the day with the elderly people at a nursing home.

You can also make an effort to make your grandparents feel special on Grandparent’s Day. Why not surprise them with a lovely bouquet of flowers? After all, who doesn’t love flowers? You can’t go wrong by buying someone a beautiful flower arrangement. There is no better feeling than opening the door and seeing a big bouquet of flowers waiting for you. You can consider artificial flowers over fresh flowers because when you go down the artificial route you are giving someone a gift that is going to last them a lifetime. Every time they look at the flowers, they will be reminded of you and the thought that went into their gift. Fresh flowers will end up in the bin within a week or so, which is a great shame. Moreover, when you buy artificial blooms, you are never restricted to what is in season. This means that you can buy your grandparents any flowers they desire. This is especially beneficial if you know that they have a favorite flower, or there is a type of flower you want to buy because it has a special meaning. For example, do you know that lilies represent love and devotion? These are two words that definitely sum-up our grandparents! 

Needless to say, you really do not need to spend a lot of money in order to make your grandparents smile and make them feel appreciated. Why not make them a card and write a lovely, heartfelt message inside? You could even make your own poem. It does not matter how good it is; what matters is that you have gone to the effort to make your grandparents feel special. 

There are plenty of other ways that you can make your grandparents feel special on this date as well. For example, you could go out for a lovely lunch or you could book an afternoon tea treat. Who doesn’t love cakes, scones, and finger sandwiches? If your grandparents aren’t able to go out, or if you would simply prefer, you can bring the afternoon tea to them. They will certainly have a big smile on their face when they see that you’re standing at the door with lots of sweet and tasty treats to share with them!

The truth is, though, that most grandparents are not going to care what they do on this date, so long as they are spending some precious moments with their grandchildren. This is what matters to them the most. Why not ask your grandparents to show you one of the hobbies that they enjoy doing the most? This may be anything from fishing to golfing. It may not be something that you are particularly fond of, but it will mean a lot that you have shown interest in the things that your grandparents like. It matters what you want to understand them more and do something that makes them happy. This could be as simple as asking what their favorite movie is and requesting that you watch it together on Grandparent’s Day.  

There are lots of other activities that you and your Grandparent’s Day can enjoy doing together on this date. Why not bake a cake together? You will find lots of great recipes online for different cakes, from lemon drizzle cake to chocolate cake. You could also play a game together, or why not go on a lovely scenic walk? Other options include doing different crafts together. Again, you are going to find plenty of craft suggestions and ideas online.

History of Grandparents Day

In 1969, nine-year-old Russell Capper sent President Nixon a letter suggesting that a day should be set aside in order to celebrate grandparents. On June 12, 1969, he received a letter back from Rose Mary Woods — Personal Secretary to the President — reading, “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, Sincerely, Rose Mary Woods Personal Secretary to the President.”

Following 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 wanted to educate the youth about the importance of seniors and the contributions they have made throughout history. She urged the youth to “adopt” a grandparent and learn more about their lives, challenges, and desires for the future.

In 1977, Senator Randolph, with the help of other senators, introduced a joint resolution to the senate requesting the president to “issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as ‘National Grandparents’ Day’.” Congress passed the legislation, proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparent’s Day. On August 3, 1978, Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation, and the day was finally celebrated the following year.

Grandparents Day timeline


It Becomes a Holiday

Jimmy Carter officially makes National Grandparents Day a holiday. 


Adopt A Senior Initiative

Marian McQuade was known for her activism with seniors. Her biggest initiative was Adopt a Grandparent, not just for a day but for a lifetime.


A small request

Nine-year-old Russell Capper wrote a letter to the president asking if he could create a Grandparents' Day


Marian McQuade

Her activism with seniors is what launches the initiative to start National Grandparents Day.

Grandparents Day FAQs

Why is it important that we celebrate this holiday?

Our grandparents are our family and they won’t be around forever. We need to cherish the moments we can with them and create lifelong memories.

How should I celebrate if my grandparents live too far?

Video chatting or calling and expressing love and gratitude will make their day, they always want to hear from you. Sending a card or an arrangement wouldn’t hurt as well.

Is Grandparents Day a real holiday?

Grandparents Day is an official national holiday, signed by President Carter in 1978 and celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About National Grandparents Day

  1. It Has Its Own Song

    The official song for National Grandparents Day is “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” by Johnny Prill.

  2. It Has Its Own Flower

    The official flower is the “forget-me-not” flower.

  3. It's Not Actually a Public Holiday

    Even though it was signed in as a national holiday it is celebrated more as an observance than a public holiday.

  4. On Average 4 Million Cards Were Sent

    People are honoring their grandparents with cards, it's the least we can do.

  5. Highest Day for Visits in Nursing Homes

    There are many days you’d want to spend with your grandparents but National Grandparents day was on average the highest day for nursing home visits.

How to celebrate Grandparents Day

  1. Spend Time with your Grandparents

    Sometimes we forget just how important and special our grandparents are. They have a lot more free time on their hands than we do and we know that even a short visit would make them happy.

  2. Have a Family Dinner

    Family time is hard to come by nowadays but organizing a family dinner with your grandparents and your parents and siblings is a great way to spend time together.  Plus we get to have some good old fashioned home cooking!

  3. Enjoy A Hobby Together

    Your grandma might like to paint or your grandpa might love to do puzzles on Sundays. A bit of company would brighten their day and you’ll probably have more fun than you thought you would.

Why We Love Grandparents Day

  1. They Love Us and We Love Them

    Our Grandparents love us. They can be stubborn and opinionated but in the end they always want what's best for us.

  2. They Have More Wisdom Than We Think

    Our grandparents have seen all kinds of things and lived a lot, through all that living it's not surprising that they learned a thing or two. They have so much to pass down and we should take some time to listen.

  3. We Wouldn’t Be Here Without Them

    Let's be real, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here. They raised our parents and they made time to spoil us when we were little, it's only fair we return the favor now.

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