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Grandparents Day: Interesting facts and suggestions for the perfect gift

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26th Aug 2017

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On Grandparents Day, learn how to make your grandparents happy.

Grandparents share a special moment with their grandchildren.

Grandmother shares a special moment with her granddaughter

On September 10th (the first Sunday after Labor Day), Stannah celebrates National Grandparents Day. This year, we’ve decided to make sure this special day won’t be forgotten.

For those fortunate enough to still have their grandparents, we know how important it is to know how they are, what worries them, hear their stories and, above all, see them happy.

For those who are already grandparents, you certainly know that it is very important to be there for your grandchildren.

In any case, this is a day dedicated to very special people, and a day we want to see recognized and shared to honor all grandparents for their hard work and commitment to their families. They are, without a doubt, the rock-solid foundation of our society.

The origin of Grandparents Day in the USA

Grandparent’s Day has been celebrated for many years around the world. In the United States, it has been celebrated since 1978, on the first Sunday after Labor Day. The founder of National Grandparent’s Day was Marian McQuade, a grandmother from West Virginia. She has been officially recognized as the founder by the President Jimmy Carter. Her goal was educating the country’s youth about the contributions seniors have made throughout history.

Official Grandparents’ Day song

In 2004, Johnny Prill composed “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” which would later become the official song of the US National Grandparents’ Day holiday. Johnny Prill won an award in recognition of his composition.

Check out the lyrics:

Chorus:
Oh Grandma, Grandpa, you know that I love you
I love all those little things that you say and do
A walk through the park, a trip to the zoo
Oh Grandma, Grandpa I love you

Verse One:
Going to a ball game, fishing on the lake
Eating Grandma’s cookies, boy they sure taste great
Going to the circus when it comes to town
Eating cotton candy and laughing at the clowns

Chorus:
Oh Grandma, Grandpa, you know that I love you
I love all those little things that you say and do
A hug and a kiss, a ride home from school
Oh Grandma, Grandpa I love you

Verse Two:
Spending time together, talking on the phone
Happy birthday presents, chocolate ice cream cones
Photographs and memories, picnics and parades
Saying that you love me in so many ways

Chorus:
Oh Grandma, Grandpa, you know that I love you
I love all those little things that you say and do
The stories you tell, things I never knew
Oh Grandma, Grandpa I love you

Why are grandparents so important?

Grandparents sharing a beautiful moment with their grandchildren

In some cultures, seniors are very much respected and appreciated for their wisdom and patience when it comes to helping raise their grandchildren.

But their importance is not always recognized. For this reason, it is important to call attention to the elderly, especially against discrimination, neglect and abuse.

Furthermore, elders are no longer a minority in our society, as they’ve been in the past.

According to the World Health Organization:

  • Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
  • By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
  • In 2050, 80% of older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The pace of population aging is much faster than in the past.
  • All countries face major challenges to ensure that their health and social systems are ready to make the most of this demographic shift.

But regardless of the statistics, it is important to recognize the role of our elders in society, and with good reason, because they still have a lot to offer our society, much to teach us and that should not be limited to the role of “grandparents”.

In some eastern cultures seniors are regarded as “living treasures”. For instance, in Japan, respect for elders is not only a duty, it is a social virtue, and goes beyond the feeling of protection and compassion for vulnerable adults. This is a total and deep respect for the elders, for their wisdom, knowledge and usefulness to a society, whose foundations are as old as philosophy of Confucius.

Listen to grandparents’ stories

Listen to grandparents’ stories

At some point, most of us have heard expressions like: “When I was young…”, “in my time…”.

Grandparents always speak of when they were younger, telling stories of how they were happy, or how they struggled. Listening to our grandparents means getting to know our own history.

Some may argue that these stories are tall tales, full of fantasy and superstition. But, some of the stories are also based on the reality of their time. Many repeat their stories over and over again, but only because they are too important to be forgotten.

Having this contact with our grandparents and hearing their stories not only helps bridge the gap between generations, but also helps children develop a sense of empathy and historical perspective.

For instance, if a child witnesses how their grandfather’s knees hurt whenever he walks, surely the child will realize how difficult the life of an older man can be and will empathize with him.

Another example, a child may develop his or her historical perspective by listening to grandmother’s stories from 50 years ago, and will understand first hand that the course of history has changed many times, up to the present moment.

What would be the perfect gift for a grandparent?

What would be the perfect gift for a grandparent?

When approaching a grandparent’s birthday or any special occasion, many strive to the to find the best gift. But sometimes we forget the most important thing.

The best gift we can give to our grandparents is our time and attention.

For example, spend some time teaching them to use Google or YouTube, so they can explore a variety of subjects that interest them.

If they already using tablets or smartphones, it can be a good idea to introduce them to the world of Apps and games for a mental workout. Audiobooks can be a great idea as well.

Also, get to know their tastes!

The most original gift will be the one that proves we know our grandparents well. Any object with some history, an antique perhaps, will remind them of their childhood.

A family photo, an album of a singer they like or a diary for them to write memoirs.

If you prefer to offer them something more practical, you should check what they really need and think of something that would make their everyday life easier.

It’s important that we’re aware of the difficulties that our grandparents go through in their routines and ask ourselves “are my grandparents safe at home?” Since it can often be difficult for them to recognize that they are struggling with something, it’s important for children and grandchildren to speak up (read also: Are your parents safe at home? 8 Warning Signs of Problems).

Finally, the best gift for a special day with our grandparents can be as simple as bringing them for a walk in the park, or somewhere that they like, because they’re often hesitant to go alone. Sharing a special moment with your grandparents can help create memories that you will never forget!