A turkey feast for Thanksgiving, egg hunts at Easter, spooky fun at Halloween. Most family holidays come ready-made with traditional activities. Grandparents Day, a national holiday since 1978, has no real traditions associated with it. Some families are at a loss as to whether they should celebrate Grandparents Day at all and, if so, exactly how they should proceed.
The purpose of Grandparents Day, according to the original proclamation, is "to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children." Notice that the celebration flows two ways: Grandchildren honor their grandparents, and grandparents honor their grandchildren.
Things to Do
Any activity that brings extended family close is appropriate for the holiday. A traditional get-together with food, games and lots of "visiting" is suitable for most families. Gift exchanges aren't necessary, but grandparents who want to give grandchildren something should consider one of these family-oriented gifts for grandchildren. These gifts are rich in sentimental value but don't cost a significant amount of money. For example, having a completed grandparent journal for each grandchild would be a wonderful celebration of the holiday.
Grandparents Day is also a great time for grandparents and grandchildren to try writing a poem. Write your poems together, or compose one for each grandchild ahead of time. This fill-in-the-blank poem format makes it easy.
The weather is usually grand on Grandparents Day, so it's perfect for outdoor activities such as walking or biking, geo-caching and classic outdoor games.
If you'd like a quieter endeavor, try a craft such as rock-painting, and then take the grandchildren to hide their rocks. Some grandparents enjoy renting a bounce house for the youngsters. It's a great way to keep the children entertained so the adults can visit. When the weather doesn't cooperate, try jigsaw puzzles, board games and card games.
Places to Go
Some venues such as zoos and museums offer special deals on Grandparents Day. Older grandchildren would enjoy a trip to a ropes course, bowling alley or miniature golf course. If your grandchildren are younger, a trip to a really cool playground can't be topped.
Grandparents who still live near some family landmarks might want to share them. The grandchildren might enjoy seeing sites of importance in their grandparents' lives, such as the schools they used to attend, the churches where they worshiped or the houses they once lived in.
Across the Miles
Create a Tradition
However you choose to celebrate Grandparents Day, be aware that children love repetition, and you just might be starting a new tradition that the grandchildren will clamor for each year.
Wouldn't that be grand!