What Is Grandparents Day?
One Special Day for Grandmothers and Grandfathers
Grandparents Day was first instituted in the United States in 1978 and is now recognized by many other international countries. In Canada, Grandparents Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in September.
Grandparents Day was first proclaimed in the United States by then-president Jimmy Carter, who readily acknowledged the founding work of Marian McQuade. McQuade campaigned for many years, achieving her first success in the state of West Virginia in 1973 when Governor Arch Moore proclaimed May 27, 1973, Grandparents Day. There is also reason to credit New York State's Hermine Beckett Hanna who campaigned for the celebration since 1961.
Grandparents Day in Canada and Around The World
In Canada, National Grandparents Day was first observed in 1995, with a bill passed by the ruling Liberal majority. In the meantime, however, Grandparents Day has not sparked significant national participation. The same complaint can be made in the Unites States and the United Kingdom (where the day is celebrated in October).
In Poland, Grandmother's and Grandfather's Day have been celebrated in January since the mid 1960's. In Australia, Grandparents' Day is held in November and is marked by school and community events.
Honouring grandparents through love and awareness
McQuade and others had specific focuses in mind when campaigning for a day to honour grandparents. The day had three primary purposes:
- To honour grandparents.
- To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children.
- To increase children's, grandchildren's and all youth's awareness of the strength, wisdom, information and guidance older people can offer.
What are some things to do on Grandparents Day?
Some ideas for Grandparents Day are as follows:
- Get together!
- Discuss why grandparents should be appreciated and what there is to appreciate about each generation. The best way to do this might be to have a meal together.
- Plan an event with your grandparent(s) that is special to them. Indulge them!
- Create a personal card thanking them for specific help they have been in the past and what they mean to you today.
Grandparents Day is one day a year and it is a shame that it does not get the same attention that is given to Mother's Day and Father's Day. Raise awareness for this day by vocally celebrating your own or your children's grandparents!