The first Sunday after Labor Day each year is Grandparents’ Day, which falls on September 12 this year. Where did Grandparents’ Day originate? Well, a 9 year old boy named Russell Cooper sent a letter to President Nixon’s secretary in 1969 suggesting that there should be a day set aside to celebrate grandparents just like we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Unfortunately, his request was denied. Then, in 1977, a U.S. Senator introduced a joint resolution to designate the first Sunday after Labor Day each year as National Grandparents’ Day. Congress passed it and President Jimmy Carter signed off in 1978, making it an officially recognized holiday.
How can you celebrate Grandparents’ Day? Simply spending time with your grandparents or grandparent-figures in your life will mean the world to them. They typically have a lot of free time on their hands and would love a chat over a nice meal with their grandchildren. You could even organize a family dinner with cousins, if possible. This would be a great way to have everyone present to celebrate them!
If there are still concerns of Covid among your family or if grandparents are limited to visitations in an assisted living community/nursing home, set up a video chat with them. Chances are the last year has left them feeling isolated and they will appreciate the sense of connection even if it is only through a screen.
Interesting Facts about Grandparents’ Day
- Did you know that Grandparents’ Day has its own song? It is called “A Song for Grandpa and Grandpa” by Johnny Prill.
- The forget-me-not flower is the official flower of Grandparents’ Day.
- Although it was signed by the President as a national holiday, it is technically not a public holiday. It is celebrated more as an observance.
- An average of 4 million cards are sent each year for Grandparents’ Day.
- Grandparents’ Day typically brings the highest number of nursing home visits (on regular, non-pandemic years).
- There are more than 70 million grandparents in America today.
- More than 2 million grandparents are primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
- According to this report from AARP, 40% of grandparents spend more than $500 on their grandchildren in a 12-month period.
- More than half of the nation’s grandparents have become tech-savvy and have at least one social media profile online.