The smell of cookies baking. Memories of learning how to ride a bike. Celebrating holidays. Receiving little gifts just because. These are all experiences we strongly associate with our grandparents. Grandparents are with us from the very beginning of our lives—they accompany us through our childhood, are present at our most important moments, and cheer us on from the sidelines through it all. On the first Sunday after Labor Day, we honor the contributions our grandparents make to our lives and the wisdom they impart to us by celebrating National Grandparents Day.
Why We Love National Grandparents Day
A. They spoil us
Because they’re not generally our primary caregivers, grandparents often spoil the heck out of us as a way of showing their love. When mom’s away, grandma and grandpa shower us with cookies, toys, clothes, and unlimited access to the TV remote. Even though we love our real parents, sometimes we wish that they would treat us like our grandparents do. Our grandparents are all sugar and spice, and everything nice!
B. They tell the best stories
Grandparents have the most fascinating stories to tell about the old days. They have fought in wars, exchanged love letters across oceans, traveled the world, lived through famines, and survived to tell the tale. They’ve also survived to tell embarrassing tales about how our parents were in their childhoods. Mom might never want you to know how bad her sense of style was in the eighties, but Grandma will tell you—and she’ll have pictures. It’s parent embarrassment galore! We’ve never loved our grandparents more.
C. They have the answers to everything
Our grandparents may be old, but they’re also wise. No matter what problem we bring to the table, they have either experienced something similar themselves or can dish out the best advice. And the best part is that they won’t judge you. They love you unconditionally (we think that’s pretty much a grandparent rule or something), so they’ll give you impartial tips without getting mad or disappointed in you. Sometimes they won’t even tell your parents when you’ve done something wrong and need that advice to get out of a jam! Thank goodness for our grandparents.
How to Celebrate National Grandparents Day
1. Interview one of your grandparents
We love our grandparents for how they contribute to our lives in the present. But have you ever taken the time to learn about their past? Ask a grandparent to tell a few stories from years gone by. You’ll learn something new and participate in one of the most valuable experiences our grandparents can give us—wisdom passed down through the ages. Plus, it will help you understand where they’re coming from. Some of their entrenched views will be explained by learning about the environment in which they grew up.
2. Cook for your grandparents
Some of the tastiest cookies in the world came from Grandma’s kitchen. Return the favor by cooking up a special meal or baking some goodies for your grandparents. You’ll have to accept the fact that whatever you make will never be as good as the food your grandparents make for you. However, if you can get past that, it’s smooth sailing! Bonus points if you use one of Grandma’s old recipes; you’ll definitely get a pinch on the cheek for that.
3. Visit the elderly in a nursing home
National Grandparents Day isn’t just about celebrating grandparents—it’s also about supporting and appreciating the elderly who live in nursing homes. Bake a batch of cookies and take them to your local nursing home. Spend some time chatting with the residents and munching on cookies together. We guarantee they’ll remember the gesture for weeks and months to come. Plus, you might even make a new friend and develop a meaningful interpersonal relationship. You’ll be doing the elderly good, but you might be doing even more good for yourself.