Show a big ‘I love you’ on Grandparents Day.

Matthew C. Woodruff
Grandparents Day(via

Grandparents Day is celebrated each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day: September 11th this year. Back in 1956 a woman in West Virginia realized just how many older nursing home residents seemed to have been forgotten by their families. She wanted a day to honor and bring attention to all these important people and to honor all grandparents. West Virginia became the first state to honor grandparents with their own special day. Interestingly, this same woman went on to have 15 children and 43 grandchildren.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation to make National Grandparents Day into law. In part the proclamation states: “Our nation was shaped by the wisdom and courage of our founding fathers, and by the steadfastness of succeeding generations who have sustained their vision… Each American family is similarly shaped and guided by its forbears…a family learns and is strengthened by its understanding of preceding generations. As Americans live longer, more and more families are enriched by their shared experiences with grandparents and great-grandparents. The elders of each family…bore the hardships and made the sacrifices that produced much of the progress and comfort we enjoy today. It is appropriate, therefore, that as individuals and as a nation, that we salute our grandparents for their contribution to our lives.”

Grandparents are our link to the past. Our grandparents should be honored and loved every day of the year, but on Grandparents Day the key is to choose activities that the grandparent enjoys and foster intergenerational connection. It need not be a day to enrich the greeting card company, I bet your grandparent would enjoy a hand-written letter even more. Sharing a meal and time to visit will please most grandparents. Playing board games, card games, and puzzles are fun low-key amusements. Grandparents Day is also a great time to share some family stories or look at old pictures. If the family would like an outing, a few venues (mainly museums) host annual Grandparents Day celebrations.

However it is done, make Grandparents Day a special day to remind your grandparent that they are loved and needed. Without them, where would you be?

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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