While grandparents are often celebrated along with moms and dads on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, did you know they have their own special day as well?

Celebrated on the second Sunday in September, Grandparents Day was created with three purposes in mind:

  1. To honour grandparents.
  2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  3. To increase awareness of the strength, wisdom, information and guidance older people can offer.

Initiated by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade in West Virginia in the 1970’s, Grandparents Day was officially recognized in Canada in 1995 to acknowledge the importance of grandparents to “the structure of the family in the nurturing, upbringing, and education of children… [Grandparents play] a critical role in strengthening the family.”

Purposefully non-commercial, Grandparents Day isn’t about flowers, cards or gifts. Instead it is about connecting and building relationships across generations.

It is a day to reach out to your grandparents or your children’s grandparents, show appreciation and love, share stories, and learn from each other. It is also a perfect time to remind them how much they are cherished.

There is no gift like the gift of time, especially time spent with loved ones. This Grandparents Day plan a family dinner or afternoon tea, if distance is an issue have a phone or video call. If the grandkids want to give a gift, make it a homemade one.

If your grandparents are no longer around, find others in your community to celebrate with. Visit a retirement home or hospital, or have coffee with an older neighbour. Seek wisdom from those with more life experience and offer your own as well.

Written by Christine Tompa for Amintro, the friend-finding community for those 50+.

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