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Celebrate Grandparent's Day with These 10 Ideas

Grandparents are those people in our lives who act as a portal to our family heritage. While they’re famous for “When I was your age” stories and their slower, more methodical approach to life, grandparents are the roots which anchor us in a sometimes stormy sea of life. As such, it’s a no-brainer that we should celebrate them for the valuable roles they play in our lives.

Grandparent's Day falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day - here are some great ideas to celebrate Grandma and Grandpa on this special holiday.

Trace Those Roots. With the advent of family ancestry websites, it’s now possible to trace our history. For a Grandparent’s Day gift, why not map out the family tree? Be sure to point out how many “branches” they’ve contributed to on the tree when you present it to them.

Investigate the Family Photo Collection. Dig out those old shoe boxes and track down those photo albums of days gone by. Look for pictures of quintessential family moments such as your grandparents’ wedding day, your grandfather proudly standing in front of his first new car, or any other noteworthy milestones. Compile these photos chronologically into a new album and present it as a gift. They’re sure to love the trip down memory lane.

Create a Family Story Book. Ask various family members to contribute one or more funny or poignant memories about Grandma and Grandpa. Chances are, they forgot about the time the only thing left to eat was a can of sardines and grape jelly, but Great Aunt Mabel just may remember. Other relatives are often a treasure chest of funny family memories. Compile these gems into a family story book and share it with Grandma and Grandpa for hours of conversation and laughter.

Create a “Then and Now” Photo Frame. Take an old photo of Grandma and Grandpa and pair it with a more recent one. Place the two side-by-side in a double frame to show where they’ve been and where they are now. As a variation, find an old picture of the couple with their grandchildren from earlier years. Then take a more recent photo and place in the double frame to show them the family’s progression (more than likely there will be a few additions to it).

Let Kids Get Crafty. Have your children show their appreciation for Grandma and Grandpa by getting creative. For young children, find a photo (or have child draw one) that depicts a favorite time with them. Allow the child to paste it on construction paper or card stock and decorate it. Have older children compose an “I’m Thankful for Grandma and Grandpa” poem or song and present it for some poignant and perhaps rib-tickling entertainment.

Do Your Research. Do a little investigating and find out where Grandma and Grandpa had their first date or other memorable occasion (engagement, wedding, etc.). If it’s still in existence, make reservations for them. If not, you can find out details about the venue and re-create it at home. Invite the family and celebrate the guests of honor. You can have a ball with this, particularly if the venue was a night club, the beach, or even a picnic-style celebration.

Arrange a Family Get-Together. What better way to celebrate the couple who made it all possible than with a family gathering? Grandparents love seeing their children and grandchildren together in one place, so why not make it a reality? You could go simple, such a family breakfast or brunch, or more elaborate. And if everyone pitches in to split the cost, it can be affordable to everyone. (And don’t forget to add in Grandma and Grandpa’s portion of the cost so it can be split amongst other payees.)

Create A “Remember When?” Diary. It goes without saying that raising a family today is a bit different from the days of our grandparents. With a little online surfing, you can find out interesting facts pertaining to the decades Grandma and Grandpa were in the driver’s seat. For instance, it might be fun to find out the average cost of a home, a gallon of gas, new car, or refrigerator and assemble it into a “Remember When?” diary for Grandma and Grandpa to reminisce over.

Arrange a Family Movie Night. Have your grandparents ever told you about movies they watched back “when movies were good”? Why not enjoy a good vintage flick with them? Do a little digging to find out their favorites and invite them over. Pop some popcorn and print out some vintage movie tickets (be sure the price is historically accurate), and gather the family around for a blast from the past. Stir up some laughs by checking out our 10 Most Memorable Hollywood Grandparents together.

Go Old School. Sometimes all Grandma and Grandpa want is the chance to say hello and tell you they love you. How about keeping it old school and picking up the phone? There’s no better way to celebrate them than by calling to say “I love you.”

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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